‘THOSE ARE MY FONDEST MEMORIES’: AN AMPLIFIED THEOLOGY OF ATONEMENT IN NEW YORK DOLL There is a more complicated relationship between Arthur Kane’s Mormonism and his life as a fallen musician than the typical LDS viewer of the film New York Doll might perceive. One might watch this film and see Kane as being redeemed by his conversion, as given meaning by his job at the family history center, and as rewarded by the reunion of the New York Dolls at the Morrissey Meltdown festival. This is too simplistic. Kane’s nostalgia for his former life as a raunchy rock star is apparent from the opening of the film and not indicative of a simple LDS conversion story. Kane’s bishop’s advice about reconciling with his former bandmates and his ward members’ help to retrieve his pawned guitars bring together two worlds usually rent apart. The atonement between these communities is the theology of the film, a theology reflected in audience reactions as much as in the film itself.
R. DENNIS POTTER and MICHAEL J. STEVENS