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Russell G. Jones,
Heather D. Lee,
I'm usually one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the arts. It takes a lot for me to hate something, especially something by a music journalist (I am one), and a Kinks fan (I am one),
But this is the most inept, pathetic video (I refuse to call it a "film". It's not even a "show". It's like something a guy did on his camcorder.), although it's only an hour long (well, I saw a truncated version on PBS, not the 85 minute version listed here) it is a colossal waste of time.
If you're not going to succeed in your goal of getting the Kinks back together, at least you'd hope you'd arrive at some insight about music, fandom, what it is about the band or the stated goal that seem to mean so much to you. But Geoff Whatever seems utterly incapable of self-reflection. The whole thing is as much about him as it is about the Kinks (a dicey proposition unless you are a hella interesting person), but he ends up learning nothing about either! The only thing remotely like it is about 15 seconds (literally) of saying he's getting too old to drink a lot.
He's not a charismatic personality in any way. He insists on playing along with his musical interview subjects although he demonstrates no evidence of any actual musical talent ("ability" to strum along is not the same thing as talent.) He also has abysmal self-esteem, apparently, content to be a jerk when he can't figure out any other plan of action. The nadir is when he sits in a downpour with an acoustic guitar at Speakers' Corner at Hyde Park with not a soul in the vicinity. It's pathetic. The shmuck can't even manage small talk with Zooey Deschanel about the Red Sox! I mean, really!
And when the film does get mildly interesting, the editing is ridiculous - cutting away from songs even when Ray or Dave is singing them! (And lest you think this is because of the edited TV version of the film, nope - these are cuts in and out of interview snippets while the song plays on the soundtrack.) The one decent part of the film is Sting's brief appearance, and I usually am not a fan of Sting. This time, he's tolerable because he's talking about how much he loves another musician besides himself, and he's by far the best performer of the Kinks' material seen in the film.
I am just about enough of a masochist - or a rock doc fan - or am willing to give the guy a fair shake since I've been so disparaging here, that since I already invested an hour of my life (plus another little while writing this) in this I may seek out the full version of the video, to see if there is any more of the element I most found lacking, that is, any sense of personal introspection or growth to balance the anticlimax of the film's mission itself. If it turned out to be a rock fan's self-examination on why we fans are so obsessive about our favorite artists and feel we are somehow bound up with them, with the possible Kinks reunion as a sort of macguffin, I'd be totally into that film This is really, really, really not that film. Poorly conceived and even more poorly executed, it actually manages to diminish, not elevate, the band by putting forth Edgers as an exemplar of a Kinks fan.
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