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Flicks - Doggie Style

Combine dog freaks and football obsessives, and you have the recipe for the kitschy dish served up by Damn Good Dog, a documentary about the University of Georgia's beloved bulldog mascot, Uga.

Many would have killed for a genuine Best in Show-style expose of the Seiler family, the official keepers of the Uga bulldog line that began with the 1956 debut of the original pup and continues through the current Uga 6. First, there's patriarch Sonny Seiler, a Savannah lawyer who falls into a deep depression anytime the UGA Dawgs lose a game. He's married to Cecelia, his long-suffering college sweetheart, who feeds and bathes the Uga bulldogs behind the scenes so Sonny can reap all the gridiron glory.

Alas, Athens-based director Erica McCarthy (whose credits include a video celebration of Conyers' 150th anniversary) isn't going for an Errol Morris Gates of Heaven approach. Damn Good Dog is a starry-eyed, celebratory portrait of football, the Uga dogs, and UGA coaches such as Vince Dooley and players like Herschel Walker, who appear to pay homage to Uga throughout the film.

The only sensible soul who casts a wary glance at the football fanatics is John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Berendt is obviously amused by a South where drag queens can coexist with the all-American church of college football.

Damn Good Dog leaps beyond kitsch with an intro inked by Georgia native and Mad magazine cartoonist Jack Davis, and the recurring stream-of-consciousness "voice-over" for Uga, provided by Larry Munson.

Vintage clips of coeds and early football games are a relief from the ad nauseam Uga anecdotes, including Uga's habit of beating the Georgia heat by perching on a bag of ice, and Swann Seiler's childhood recollection of the velocity of the first Uga's slobber. No detail is too small for these Uga fanatics to recount in a film that could use some serious trimming and may test the patience of even the most die-hard UGA fan.

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Damn Good Dog plays Sat., June 11, 4:30 p.m., at the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square. 404-730-1700. www.atlantafilmfestival.org.