Martin Scorsese to Direct Documentary on New York Dolls’ David Johansen

Showtime Documentary Films announced yesterday (July 7) that Martin Scorsese will be directing a new feature on New York Dolls frontman David Johansen.

The film, co-directed by David Tedeschi, will take an intimate look at Johansen’s life and career, from his upbringing in Staten Island and his time in NYC’s East Village neighborhood as a teenager, to fronting the legendary glam rock band New York Dolls. The doc will also explore Johansen’s post-Dolls years, including the lounge music he made under the moniker Buster Poindexter in the 80s and his blues output with the Harry Smiths in the 90s. The film will also include clips from Johansen’s performances at New York’s Café Carlyle earlier this year.

“I’ve known David Johansen for decades, and his music has been a touchstone ever since I listened to the Dolls when I was making Mean Streets,” Scorsese said in a statement. “Then and now, David’s music captures the energy and excitement of New York City. I often see him perform, and over the years I’ve gotten to know the depth of his musical inspirations. After seeing his show last year at the Café Carlyle, I knew I had to film it because it was so extraordinary to see the evolution of his life and his musical talent in such an intimate setting. For me, the show captured the true emotional potential of a live musical experience.”

Scorsese is no stranger to music documentaries; he explored the ’70s rock scene in the HBO series Vinyl as well as The Band’s career in 1978’s The Last Waltz. More recently, he directed Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, which was released by Netflix.

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