New York Doll

The New York Dolls were the single most important musical group in the history of the universe, at least if the ’80s rock stars interviewed in New York Doll are to be believed. But beyond the usual exaggeration of the influence of its subject’s career, New York Doll is a great doc about sad and lonely Arthur “Killer” Kane, bassist for the legendary proto-glam, proto-punk band that launched the careers of Johnny Thunders and David Johansen. Kane is a great subject: a former drug-addled rock star who went broke and then started working for the Mormon church. It all leads up to his reunion, after 30 years, with his surviving band mates. The scene where he asks God to bless the Dolls is one of many surreal points in this surreal film. It is, to use the metaphor Kane uses in describing his conversion, “like an LSD trip from the Lord.” Oh, and there’s also the scene of Kane’s ex-wife saying: “He beat me with the cat furniture.” What more needs to be said?

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