Martin Scorsese’s film about the New York Dolls’ David Johansen will premiere next month

Martin Scorsese’s new documentary film about the New York Dolls’ David Johansen will premiere next month, it’s been announced.

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The documentary film, called Personality Crisis: One Night Only, will get its first airing at the New York Film Festival.

The film focusses around a one-of-a-kind 2020 performance by New York Dolls frontman David Johansen.


“Then and now, David’s music captures the energy and excitement of New York City,” Scorsese said in a statement about the film following its initial announcement.

The New York Dolls onstage in 1974 – CREDIT: Press

“I often see him perform, and over the years I’ve gotten to know the depth of his musical inspirations. After seeing his show… 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 has co-directed the feature with David Tedeschi and worked with cinematographer Ellen Kuras (American Utopia) to film the gig, which took place in 2020 at New York City’s Café Carlyle.

As well as the concert, the film will feature archival interviews and more. According to Rolling Stone the new film will cover Johansen’s upbringing on Staten Island, his move to New York’s East Village as a teenager in the late 1960s and his time in the New York Dolls, as well as his work in the 1980s under the alter-ego Buster Poindeter and his time with the band The Harry Smiths.