Police guitarist Andy Summers takes a look back at his life and music career, particularly his years with his old band, in Can't Stand Losing You , a new documentary that premieres Friday at the DOCNYC Festival in New York City. Summers will be on hand to participate in a Q&A following the screening, which takes place at 7 p.m. at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan.
The film was based in Summers' 2006 memoir, One Train Later , and also utilized images from the 69-year-old musician's 2007 photography book, I'll Be Watching You . The movie features Summers reading passages taken straight from the book, accompanied by his photos, plus archival film of The Police and previously unseen footage taken during the band's 2007-2008 reunion tour.
Speaking with ABC News Radio on Thursday, Summers reveals that the template for his movie was director
's award-winning 2002 documentary
The Kid Stays in the Picture
, about maverick film producer
"[It] was basically made out of still photographs and a voice-over," the guitarist explains of The Kid Stays in the Picture , "but it was beautifully done. Great story."
Can't Stand Losing You , which was directed by Andy Grieve , gives an overview of Summers' early life and various pre-Police music projects before delving into the group's quick rise to stardom, as well as the conflicts and personal turmoil that accompanied the band's success.
Summers points out that he had no intention of candy-coating some of the darker aspects of his life during The Police's heyday, including the breakup of his marriage, some classic rock-star excesses and the egos and bickering that eventually pulled the group apart.
"[I thought,] 'Let's just go to the real truth of the situation because it's much more compelling," he maintains. "We're in an era when, with reality TV and all this kind of stuff, there's no need to be anything except for honest with all these situations. I think people like it and they appreciate it."
There are plenty of lighter moments in the flick too. Summers mentions one particular scene filmed in Japan during The Police's reunion trek in which he enters a karaoke bar after hearing someone singing "Every Breath You Take." He proceeds to join in the fun, and eventually reveals who he is to the delight of the patrons at the bar.
Asked what his Police band mates think of the documentary, Summers says drummer Stewart Copeland "was very enthusiastic, and very complimentary about it." As for Sting , he admits, "I don't know if [he] has actually seen it. It was sent to his manager who really liked it and signed off on it."
For Andy's part, he says, "I think the film is actually very entertaining, it's funny, it's got killer footage of The Police. And personally, I think it's the best film on The Police yet."
The movie culminates as The Police reunion trek comes to an end. Regarding the possibility of the band getting back together, Summers says, "That was probably it…but who knows. With all these things, you never have to shut the door on anything anymore. You know, let's see what happens."
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