Documentary finds the legendary figure contemplating his life and artistry

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David Crosby is still alive. But why? 

It's a question the legendary rocker — 78 years old as of last week — ponders in the honest and open documentary "David Crosby: Remember My Name." He's done enough drugs to kill a stable of horses. He's had major health scares and he's seen his peers die. Yet he's still here.   

Why? 

That's a question for the universe to answer, but director A.J. Eaton captures "Croz" as he is now: contemplative, mournful, full of regret.

"Remember My Name" isn't a celebratory tale, it's a story of alienation and defiance, of taking a hard look back at a life lived. Crosby has managed to turn off most of the people with whom he once made music -- the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young -- and even as a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer he still feels unfulfilled. 

Yet he's an essential figure in the history of rock and roll, and Cameron Crowe — who interviews Crosby throughout the film — treats him as such. If there's a drawback to the film, it's the moments where Crosby holds back and Crowe doesn't push harder; Crosby talks of "boundaries I crossed that you haven't thought of yet" and stories about "a friend who shall remain nameless," and Crowe lets him off the hook. If this is his tell-all confessional as he stares down the end of his life, nothing should be off the table.

Eaton brings Crosby around to his old haunts with varied results; a trip to his former house is a trip down memory lane, but a stop to a neighborhood grocery store is a bust. But throughout, Crosby is true to himself, even if that means coming to terms with being insufferable. "Remember My Name" is a portrait of an artist in reflection, and it's a hard, sobering look in the mirror. 

'David Crosby: Remember My Name'

GRADE: B+

Rated R: for language, drug material and brief nudity

Running time: 95 minutes

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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