New York Doll is a documentary about the reformation of seminal punk/glam rock pioneers The New York Dolls.
New York Doll centres on the life of born again Mormon and recovering alcoholic Arthur “Killer” Kane. Although rock and roll is the film’s core, it’s the broken friendship of our hero, Kane, and enigmatic frontman David Johansen that drives the film along. The two former bandmates have not spoken a word for 30 years and no one really knows how they will react to each other once they are in the same room together. Kane’s rock and roll lifestyle is long gone. He travels to the church library each day by bus and works with a couple of elderly Sisters who are very fond of Arthur with no inkling of his somewhat notorious past.
30 years is a long time between gigs, the booze and drugs are gone and age is a hurdle in itself. There is a lot of history to live up to and lot of history to overcome. Three of the original band are now deceased. Will the band get it together? And if they do, will they get it together enough to please an adoring crowd who still think of them as the young men from the 70s? Can Arthur afford to get his bass out of hock?
New York Doll is a great documentary. It’s a fly on the wall approach. No judgments, no trying to sway your opinion about anything.
The ending will touch you.