(3 STARS) NEW YORK DOLL (PG-13). The meteoric rise,
resounding fall and latter-day resurrection of the seminal New York
glam-rock-punk band the New York Dolls is told via the story of Arthur "Killer"
Kane - the band's bassist, leader and a born-again Mormon. Director Greg
Whiteley tells the story of the band, how its theatrical-but-beat-heavy style
influenced such successors as The Clash and how Kane - who had bottomed-out on
drugs and alcohol following the band's heyday in the stimulant-rich environment
of early '70s Manhattan - found salvation through the Mormon church. Kane is
the center of the film, but the climax is a London reunion of the surviving
bandmates organized by rocker Morrissey and including fellow Doll David
Johannsen - with whom Kane had a serious falling out years before. How would
the reconstituted band pull off their long-awaited reunion? Could they possibly
recapture the energy and elan that made them legends in their own brief time?
How would Kane continue after a short reprise in the spotlight?
The answers make "New York Doll" a funny, exhilarating and ultimately
bittersweet paean to an era and a man. 1:17 (drug content). At the Angelika
Film Center in Manhattan.