New York Doll was one of the finest documentaries I've ever seen. Any NYD fan would love to see Arthur "Killer" Kane in his splendor.
The documentary opens up on Kane's life as of 2004, just prior to the NYD show at the Meltdown Festival in London. Kane, now a Mormon working at a local library, having given up on music, is barely making ends meet. One day he's confronted by Morrissey, who asks him to come to London to perform with David and Sylvain, the only other survivors of the band New York Dolls. He somewhat hesitantly agrees. He's obviously haunted by his musical past.
The second half of this documentary focuses on Kane meeting up with the Dolls who now have a replacement drummer and lead guitarist (Johnny and Jerry were both sadly deceased by this point). As they practice for the upcoming reunion gig, Kane gets nervous but he still has that spark that makes him a legendary bass guitarist.
Then comes the show itself. Fans cheer as the band comes...
This is an excellent documentary! A reminder that dreams do come true and faith is rewarded. For Dolls fans, of course it is a must-see. However, it is so well-made and touching that even non-Dolls fans should really enjoy it. A short 70-ish minutes, this movie follows Arthur Kane as he prepares for a reunion of the New York Dolls - a dream he's had as he toiled in obscurity and poverty since their breakup some 30 years earlier.
Arthur is just amazing! He seems fragile - and yet hardened by his past and/or strengthened by his faith in such a way as to seem impervious to any hardship of life. And Morrissey, so often appearing to be a pompous jerk, comes off as almost humble! Not only was he singularly responsible for bringing the Dolls back together and making Arthur's wish come true, he introduces the Dolls saying "without the Dolls I wouldn't be here". I always liked the Smiths and knew Morrissey was a huge Dolls fan, but I have a new appreciation of him after...
This documentary was so beautifully done, I had to give it the highest rating. So many times I have been sucked into the "Where Are They Now?" or "Behind The Music" episodes knowing where the formulated programming will take me, just enough to pique my curiosity, usually not telling anything I didn't already know. But, this was different. It was so intriguing from the first few seconds of the opening credits and use of an animated timeline of the New York Dolls growth and demise, focusing on bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane, and his rise and fall within this band, and his own personal struggles with the life he had with the Dolls and the current life he has with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was obvious to me he struggled in both worlds, and it seemed his current life protected him from the downfall of the other, but he hadn't quite reconciled with either. Well worth viewing.
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