Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Arthur Kane, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Morrissey, Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones, Iggy Pop
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Greg Whiteley
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug content
Running Time: 75
Date: 01/01/2005
IMDB

New York Doll (2005)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Personality Crisis

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lately rock documentaries have begun to probe deeper, looking for psychological roots among the music. Last year, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and DIG! became new classics of the genre, and this year the amazing New York Doll joins them.

Opening today at the Roxie (3117 16th Street, SF), Greg P. Whiteley's New York Doll looks at the ultimate 1970s glam-punk band, the New York Dolls, but narrows its focus to bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane. When the band broke up in 1977, Kane flailed about, forming new bands and failing, and ultimately attempting suicide. Upon his recovery, he found the Mormon Church and a new lease on life. Bussing to work, wearing a white shirt and tie and refilling copy machines at the Family History Center, he often thinks about his past and his broken friendship with singer David Johansen. But fate steps in when rock singer Morrissey arranges a 2004 New York Dolls reunion in London.

Whiteley delicately balances both Kane's newfound devotion and his more glamorous rock 'n' roll past and pays respect to both. The film interviews several legends (Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, etc.) and includes lots of great music. Kane appears here as slightly bewildered, but remarkably positive, and he's liable to make your day. (See also: New York Dolls: All Dolled Up.)

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