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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Giving Up The Ghosts: Closing Time At Doc's ...'
(Dr. John Peterson, Vicki Peterson, Paul Troxell, Mike Martin, Phil Dunn, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / MVD Visual)

Overview: Robert Mugge's feature-length music documentary, 'Giving Up The Ghosts: Closing Time at Doc's Music Hall', explores the twin careers of respected physician and musician Dr. John Peterson and the music and arts venue he owned and helped operate in downtown Muncie, Indiana from 1992 to 2012.

Blu ray Verdict: For those not in the know, American documentary film maker Robert Mugge focused primarily on films about music and musicians, in his heyday, but some of his earliest films were not music focused, funnily enough. Indeed, he is now continuing to branch out as his interests and work evolve, as his time progresses.

That said, 'Giving Up The Ghosts: Closing Time at Doc's Music Hall' centers around a final music hall concert by Doc and his house band performing Doc's original songs along with covers of assorted jazz (Spyro Gyra), rock (The Doors, The Animals), soul (The Temptations, The Isley Brothers), and pop (Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Judy Garland) favorites.

And so, what we experience here on this incredible Blu-ray is what Mugge got up to in his "spare time" between 2012 and 2014! Basically, he directed 'Giving Up The Ghosts: Closing Time at Doc's Music Hall', this unbelievably intimate, stunningly revealing 80-minute film about Muncie, IN doctor and musician John Peterson, and a music and arts venue he himself once founded.

In interviews, Doc and others discuss his early success in the music business, his later innovative merging of traditional and alternative medicines, and his purchase and restoration of a downtown Muncie building (a music venue he owned for twenty years) both to provide an outlet for the work of young artists and musicians and to help invigorate Muncie's abandoned downtown. The film also includes discussion of the "ghosts" many claim to have seen and heard in the building over the years (presumed to be deceased actors who performed in the city's multiple theaters during earlier decades) and a ceremony intended to free them, now that the venue was shutting down.

As Doc himself admits freely, the story behind 'Giving Up The Ghosts: Closing Time at Doc's Music Hall' starts with him playing rock and roll in the mid-60's. He talks of "magical" venues that he/they played, in which whilst playing they could "lose themselves" in the music, in those spaces. He goes on to speak about how Doc's came to be, as a place to come together to play and listen to music, because back in the early 90s, there were bands that played a certain blend of music that just didn't have the right place to "fit in." Anyway, the rest you can either guess or know.

And, knowing that Mugge edits all of his own films and writes and produces most of them as well, and (as you should already know) knowing what a musical legend Dr. John "Doc" Peterson was/is, well, you should already be on Amazon and buying this Blu-ray now! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:78.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Blu ray Purchase Link