Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new feature documentary from Academy Award Winning director Martin Scorsese that profiles David Johansen, the celebrated front man of the New York Dolls. David Tedeschi will co-direct with Scorsese, and Scorsese and Sikelia Productions will executive produce with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Imagine Documentaries.
The film will reveal the many faces of Johansen in an extraordinarily intimate feature documentary. Growing up on Staten Island, Johansen landed in New York’s East Village in the late 1960s; a 16-year-old dropped into the epicenter of the counter-cultural revolution in music, theatre, fashion, art, writing, and social change – a seismic moment that still reverberates today. Johansen’s musical career started in the 1970s as lead singer for the punk/glam pioneers the New York Dolls, continued as he helped to usher in the swing revival as Buster Poindexter in the 1980s and dug deep into the blues with the Harry Smiths in the 1990s.
To tell this story, Scorsese is working with longtime collaborators including producer Margaret Bodde, director of photography Ellen Kuras, and Tedeschi. Scorsese and his team filmed Johansen earlier this year at New York’s legendary Café Carlyle. Johansen performed songs he had written over the years and told vivid stories from his astonishing life. Scorsese will take the audience on an unforgettable New York journey from the 1970s through today, revealing Johansen through exclusive performances, archival footage and present-day verité of the artist and raconteur.