In an extraordinarily intimate feature documentary premiering Friday April 14, on SHOWTIME, Martin Scorsese’s Personality Crisis: One Night Only reveals the many faces of David Johansen. Continuing his vibrant and invaluable documentaries about iconic American artists and musicians such as George Harrison: Living in the Material World, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, and the Fran Lebowitz portrait Public Speaking, Scorsese, with an assist from co-director David Tedeschi, turns his camera on another beloved New York institution: the singular David Johansen. Equally celebrated as the lead singer-songwriter of the androgynous ’70s glam punk groundbreakers The New York Dolls and for his complete reinvention as hepcat Buster Poindexter in the ’80s, the chameleonic Johansen has created an entire genre unto himself, combining swing, blues, and rock for something at once mischievous and deeply personal. In Personality Crisis: One Night Only, Scorsese and co-director David Tedeschi (The 50 Year Argument), with the help of cinematographer Ellen Kuras (American Utopia), luminously capture the entertainer’s January 2020 Cafe Carlyle set, where he performs as Poindexter singing the Johansen songbook, bringing downtown irreverence to this storied uptown joint. Presented alongside new and archival interviews, the concert is marvelously intimate and a testament to both a lost New York and a performer who remains as fresh and exciting as ever. Co-director David Tedeschi, Co-writer, Editor (Rolling Thunder Revue) joins us to talk about his personal recollections on the meteoric rise of the Dolls, what makes David Johansen such an compelling storyteller and performer and his 20-year long working relationship Martin Scorsese.
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About the filmmaker – David Tedeschi is an Emmy-nominated editor whose work encompasses both documentaries and fiction. He has edited several acclaimed feature documentaries and series directed by Martin Scorsese, including George Harrison: Living In The Material World (HBO) and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (PBS), each of which garnered him Emmy nominations, Shine A Light (featuring The Rolling Stones), The Blues: Feels Like Going Home, Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, the 2021 Netflix series Pretend It’s A City, and Public Speaking (the last two featuring Fran Liebowitz). He also co-directed (with Martin Scorsese) the HBO film The 50 Year Argument. In 2018, he edited American Dream / American Knightmare, a feature-length Showtime documentary about Suge Knight directed by Antoine Fuqua. Earlier in his career he edited the ground-breaking television series TV Nation and The Awful Truth, both for director Michael Moore. David’s other editing credits include Vinyl (pilot, HBO), The Shield (season one, FX), El silencio de Neto, The Osbournes (MTV), American High (pilot and series, Fox), My Friend Paul and four feature films for director Leon Ichaso: Piñero, El Cantante, Bitter Sugar, and Free of Eden. His producing credits include The 50 Year Argument, Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, Pretend It’s A City and Personality Crisis: One Night Only.
“When the film does dissolve into the past, it is rich.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal
“The documentary lets its subject’s weathered charisma do most of the hard work here, and yet it weaves in enough context to convince even the biggest New York Dolls neophytes of the band’s legacy.” – David Ehrlich, indieWire
“Rock ‘n’ roll portraits this vibrant, introspective, and nimble don’t come around very often.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast
“Personality Crisis: One Night Only retains the impish mystery surrounding one of rock’s most underrated frontmen while building a beautiful and slightly abstracted portrait of a man in a constant state of transformation.” – Matthew Jackson, Paste Magazine
“While finding him in solid enough voice, the film is an even more effective showcase for his spoken-word talents as sharp, amiable raconteur and rambunctious comic.” – Neil Young, Screen International