In the middle of Arlington resident Geoff Edgers's documentary about his quest to reunite the band the Kinks, he interviews musician Robyn Hitchcock who says: "the reason … things work is generally because they are temporary—like the orgasm and the sneeze—they have a beginning and that beginning means the end is coming soon."
For Edgers, the end of the Kinks, a 1960's rock band known for their songs "Lola" and "You Really Got Me," was actually the beginning of his journey from writer (he is an arts writer for the Boston Globe) into the cold, often stressful world of filmmaking.
Though, Edgers's love of the Kinks may seem irrational during the film at times – "I have stood by helplessly as countless crappy, old rock bands have gotten back together," Edgers says in the film - it is never dull. And much of this is due to Edgers himself.
As Edgers explored how to document his quest, he got to know an old high school acquaintance, a filmmaker and director named Robert Patton-Spruill. Patton-Spruill, the film's director, also saw an opportunity in Edgers's idea and in Edgers himself.
The end result - "Do It Again" - is a film ostensibly about the band, but also one that is very much about Edgers.
Edgers sits outside playing his guitar in Boston to raise money for the Kinks reunion, he struggles with aging, with getting the right people on the phone, with work/life balance and with work in general (it was filmed during the time the New York Times Company, which owns the Boston Globe was threatening to shutter the publication).
"I guess (Patton-Spruill) saw something in me," said Edgers. "He believed in me."
Patton-Spruill was not the only one who believed in Edgers. The film played to a packed house during the Independent Film Festival Boston in Somerville in April and the reviews have been by and large very positive.
Variety Magazine called the quirky, 85-minute film a "crowd pleaser."
Edgers' quest to reunite the Kinks and the two warring brothers – Ray and Dave Davies – who started the band, begins in Arlington, but it quickly moves all over the country and world, from London to LA and beyond where Edgers interviews celebrities like Zooey Deschanel and Sting and tries to get them – with varying results - to "jam" with him.
For Edgers, who grew up in Brookline, it was an opportunity to go outside his writing comfort zone and try his hand at a new medium. Of course, the reporting skills came in handy when he was denied access again and again, first to the celebrities, then to the jam session and ultimately – frighteningly – to the licensing the film needed to actually play Kinks music as part of the soundtrack.
At certain points, Edgers said, it felt like they should stop, especially when financing became dicey and he had to put up a fair amount of his own money. "We just kept going at that point," Edgers said. "I think we did not know how to stop."
It is a good thing they kept at it because, despite the stress and the two-year process it took to get the film where it is today, the finished product has been accepted at many film festivals all over the world and garnered a fair amount of acclaim, from writer like Stewart Nussbaumer for the Huffington Post who called it, "A hilarious romp and clever distraction from a crumbling America and the middle class barbecue. When leaving the theater, I couldn't help but think I had taken a wrong road in one of those forks of life. The road that does not laugh enough. The one that does not allow anything between the ridiculous and the worthless. And I thought, I need to work on that."
There is still time to see the film.
"Do it Again" will screen at the Roxbury International Film Festival on July 31, the Maine International Film Festival on July 10 and Woods Hole in early August.