Arthur Kane of the legendary band the New York Dolls rockets to the top of the glam rock scene. Then with the death of a band member, the group bottoms out and eventually splits up. Arthur disappears from the music scene and in a surprising twist of fate, becomes a Mormon librarian. Years later, Morrissey (of the Smiths) offers Arthur the opportunity to go back into the spotlight and revisit a life he thought was lost forever. New York Doll is a heartfelt story about second chances and an incredible music journey.
For a look at a "Killer," New York Doll
is a surprisingly tender portrait. But then Arthur "Killer" Kane, bass player for the New York Dolls, was a gentle soul at heart. In his feature film debut, director Greg Whiteley ably explores the dichotomy between the stone-faced rocker with the "killer" bass lines and the mild-mannered librarian at LA's Mormon Family History Center. Kane never had much of a home life, but he loved rock and roll, and found a second family with the Dolls. It was, to say the least, a dysfunctional one. Fame came fast, but money didn't follow, and the band imploded "because of our bad behavior." Kane struggled with alcohol and other problems before finding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1980s. He turned his life around, but refused to let go of the past. He wanted to get the band back together. Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders died in the 1990s, but Kanes dream didnt. "For 30 years I was ignored and told that I was a loser," he states. Whiteley doesn't preach or condescend, but allows Kane to tell his own story, bolstered by comments from friends and associates. As Morrissey, who kick-started the groups 2004 London reunion, explains, "For everybody there's an artist that captures you at just the right time... The Dolls were that for me." Featuring David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, and Mick Jones, New York Doll
was nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. --Kathleen C. Fennessy