New York Doll

2005

Documentary / Music

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 1535

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

David Johansen as Himself
Iggy Pop as Himself
Chrissie Hynde as Herself
Bob Geldof as Himself
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
656.6 MB
1280*714
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 15 min
P/S 2 / 12
1.24 GB
1920*1072
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 15 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bill 8 / 10

Not Your Average Epiphany

Religious conversion stories are often dreadfully boring to all but fellow believers. Too often they are tales of interesting lives of despair lifted by a higher power to lives of less-than-fascinating virtue. I don't mean to imply criticism of epiphanies in any form. But it is an axiom of sectarian movie marketing that the religiously inclined will tolerate the blandest of cinema if packaged faithfully, and that's often what they get.

I was expecting more of the same when I heard about New York Doll at Sundance last year. This is the story of Arthur "Killer" Kane, bass player for the legendary New York Dolls rock 'n roll band of the '70's. For those that didn't follow the pop music scene back then, the Dolls were one of the hardest-edged, most controversial groups of their era. Forerunners of the punk movement, they paraded in drag and set the stage for later bands such as The Sex Pistols, The B-52's and The Clash.

Like so many other punk bands, the Dolls fell victim to excesses and addiction. Kane, known for his "killer" bass lines, was sometimes too drunk to perform, and would simply stand on-stage with a bass around his neck while a roadie filled in for him. (However, since Kane was known for his wooden posture on stage, it may have been hard to tell whether he was really playing or not!) After a meteoric four years, the Dolls dissolved and Kane drifted into alcoholism and obscurity, only reclaiming his life with his 1989 conversion to Mormonism and work at the LDS Family History Center in Los Angeles.

But despite his discovered spirituality, he always harbored the desire for the band to reunite and play again. His seemingly impossible dream was realized in 2004, when Morrissey (The Smiths) engineered a reunion of the Dolls for the London Meltdown Festival.

Director Greg Whitely crafts a warm and engaging story set to this strange juxtaposition. Kane is an intriguing personality—simple, friendly and honest, he talks wistfully of his days of drugs, sex and rock and roll ("some of my fondest memories," he says) yet never wavers from his commitment to his Mormon faith. Interspersed in the reunion story are thoughts on Kane from Mormon co-workers and religious leaders as well as punk rockers Morrissey, Sir Bob Geldof (of Boomtown Rats and then Live Aid fame), Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Iggy Pop and others.

But the drama is the reunion itself. Two of the Dolls died in the early 90's, leaving Kane, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and singer David Johansen. Of the three, Johansen found the most success post-Dolls, both as an actor as well as singing under the alter-ego Buster Poindexter (remember "Hot, Hot, Hot"?). Kane resented Johansen for nearly three decades, and the tension is palpable when the singer arrives (over a day late) for rehearsals. While time and hard living have clearly slowed, humbled and mellowed Kane, in contrast Johansen comes across like Mick Jagger—a youthful glam rocker in a craggy-faced, 50-year-old body. While Kane appears non-plussed by the experience, Johansen is still energized by the spotlight.

What is truly touching is how they resolve their differences, rekindle their relationship and develop mutual respect. Kane tries to explain his religion to a bemused Johansen, including the Mormon principal of tithing—"It's like an agent's fee," he explains. "It's only 10 percent. It's a pretty good deal." New York Doll is a well-executed and compassionate documentary that will warm the hearts of faithful and heathen alike. Whitely clearly cares deeply for Arthur Kane, who seems to have touched the lives of everyone—even those from the Dolls' era. And it's impossible not to like Kane, who is so sincerely grateful for his good fortune—his past, his faith and his chance to once again be a New York Doll. This is a tender story with a bittersweet ending, which I won't give away. I will tell you to keep watching as the credits roll, because there's a song you won't want to miss.

Reviewed by taylor745 10 / 10

Interesting non traditional rock doc

I caught this film at the Sundance Film Festival. It was one of the most popular films of the series. I'm not a big rock fan nor am I a documentary junkie, but I really liked this film. The back story was that the director began filming the story of a fallen rocker just as amazing things began to happen in his life. Catch it if you have a chance.

Here is the Sundance write up. New York Doll relates the meteoric rise, resounding fall, and recent all-too-brief resurrection of the seminal New York glam-rock-punk band, the New York Dolls, but it is foremost a story about the band's amazing bassist and leader, Arthur "Killer" Kane. With empathy, respect, and humor, director and friend Greg Whiteley follows Kane and interviews key musicians, friends, and colleagues to uncover the legacy of the Dolls and their significant impact on the London music scene in the dizzying heyday of the early 1970s.

After Kane and his band bottom-out on drugs and alcohol, he disappears from music, embracing a surprisingly different path when he becomes a born-again Mormon. When rocker Morrissey organizes a London reunion of the New York Dolls, Kane buys his guitar back from a pawnshop, takes leave of his Family Center library job, and heads back to New York City to prepare for an unlikely comeback.

How will the reconstituted band pull off its first performance in 30 years? Can these musicians possibly recapture the energy and élan that made them legends in their own brief time? What awaits Kane after his short reprise in the spotlight? The answers make New York Doll an entertaining, exhilarating, warmly human, and ultimately bittersweet paean to an era and the man lovingly described by friend and band member David Johansen as "the miracle of God's creation."— Diane Weyermann

Reviewed by TheAnimalMother 10 / 10

God, Fate & The Rock n' Roll Killer - An Absolute Must See Film!!

This is easily one of the most extraordinary documentaries I have ever seen, and I've seen more than a few. In fact I have rated thousands of films on IMDb, and New York Doll happens to be 1 of only 18 films I have given a full 10 rating. First off, this documentary is done the way a documentary is suppose to be done. It is completely observatory. It does not try to make you believe something, or sway your opinion this way or that way. It has a refreshing integrity throughout. After watching NY Doll, I couldn't help but feel that this film in itself seems like such a fateful occurrence. An independent amateur filmmaker happens to stumble into the well aged Arthur 'Killer' Kane, former member of the raucous and raunchy 1970's glam/punk rock act, the New York Dolls. He finds that Arthur misses the days of rock n' roll fame and mischief, but now has a totally new and simple life in which he has found some sort of solace in a new faith in God. What follows upon their collaboration is hard to express fully in words. It must be seen, but it seems as though the filmmaker and the subject met each other at the perfect time. Arthur's journey here in is one so honest, so human, that I found it almost impossible to not get emotionally choked up over, even after repeat viewings; And it is a rare event when I get choked up over a film. This is an absolute must see if you like human stories. If you like movies or documentaries at all, it's a must see. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in God, or even if you don't know who the hell the New York Dolls are. It doesn't even matter if you like rock music. See the film, thank me later.

If I'm acting like a king / Well that's cause, I'm a Human Being / And If I want too many things / Don't you know that, I'm a Human Being / And if I've got to dream / Baby baby yeah, I'm a Human Being

10/10

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