Martin Scorsese Is Making a New Film About New York Dolls' David Johansen
Published Jul 07, 2020Martin Scrosese is once again stepping inside the music world, with the renowned filmmaker announcing he will be taking on a new documentary about New York Dolls frontman David Johansen.
The film will be co-directed alongside David Tedeschi, and it comes for Showtime Documentary Films. Tedeschi has worked alongside Scrosese a few times, including on the Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home and the Rolling Stones-focused Shine a Light.
While the documentary title and release date have yet to be revealed, the film promises to offer an intimate look at Johansen, from his upbringing on Staten Island to his arrival in New York's East Village in the late '60s. The doc will also head into Johansen's later years, including his '80s work as Buster Poindexter and '90s output with the Harry Smiths.
"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."
Among the documentary footage used will be scenes shot by Scorsese earlier this year at New York's Café Carlyle, where Johansen performed a career-spanning set and treated the audience to stories about his life. In addition to exclusive and present-day footage, the doc will also include various archival footage.
"It is an honour for all of us at Showtime to be working with Martin Scorsese, who unquestionably stands as one of the greatest filmmakers of our time," said Showtime's Vinnie Malhotra. "Over the past few decades his documentary work has taken us inside the lives of some of the most iconic musicians, from the Band to the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan, and now David Johansen and the New York Dolls. Johansen's story transcends the walls of music and is a window into the art and cultural evolution of New York City."
As previously reported, Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro has been picked up by Apple, while his latest film was Netflix's The Irishman.