6.9/10
16,448
80 user 44 critic

Basquiat (1996)

Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is "... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Lech J. Majewski), (short story) (as John F. Bowe) | 2 more credits »

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jean-Claude La Marre ...
Shenge (as Jean Claude LaMarre)
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Annina Nosei
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Cynthia Kruger
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Storyline

Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is "discovered" by Andy Warhol's art world and becomes a star. But success has a high price, and Basquiat pays with friendship, love, and eventually, his life. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took The New York Art World By Storm. The Rest Is Art History.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use and strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Build a Fort, Set It on Fire  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$83,863 (USA) (9 August 1996)

Gross:

$2,961,991 (USA) (22 November 1996)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Benicio Del Toro wanted to appear in the movie so much, he did the movie for scale, but offered the producers the chance to not pay him for his role. See more »

Goofs

When Basquiat is painting on the floor in his studio, part of the painting in the upper-left hand corner disappears and reappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rene: Everybody wants to get on the Van Gogh boat. There's no trip so horrible that someone won't take it. The idea of the unrecognised genius slaving away in a garret is a deliciously foolish one. We must credit the life of Vincent Van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit. I mean, how many pictures did he sell, one? He couldn't give them away. He has to be the most modern artist, but everybody hated him. He was so ashamed of his life that the rest of our history will be ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, a short clip showing a surfer riding on a wave is displayed. It's very similar to the surfing/wave shots that Basquiat keeps seeing whenever he looks up to the sky during the movie, but it's in full color instead of being blue-tinted. See more »

Connections

Features Metropolis (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

Suicide Mode
Performed by Nicholas Marion Taylor
Written by Nicholas Marion Taylor
Published by Harold Dessau's Edelweis Music Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Basquiat - an inspiration.
18 March 2004 | by (Manchester, UK) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie 'Basquiat'. It is a subtle portrayal of a complex character, beautifully acted by Jeffrey Wright. It would have been easy for the film-makers to go over board with this movie. Basquiat sure did have the character to allow that. And the fact they didn't feel the need to do that, is why I like this movie so much. It'd been easy to concentrate more on the drug taking, on his immense paranoia, and on his lively lifestyle that went beyond Andy Warhol and Madonna. And doing that would have probably got the movie more hype, attention and plaudits. Instead the makers of this movie just give glimpses of his life and merely suggest a whole lot more, and this works well. It's a movie that goes along more at a stroll than a run, and grows in stature and depth as it does so.

But, the 'problem' if you can call it that, with 'Basquiat' is that you need to know this man's art, and this man's character to really enjoy and appreciate this movie. And that's why I think it maybe doesn't get the sympathetic reviews or attention it deserves. If you didn't know about this man's life before seeing the movie, then I don't know what you could take from the film. And if you watch it without knowing about him and his art, then I can imagine it wouldn't really hit the mark.

What makes this movie beautiful in it's subtlety is that it does great justice to the wonderful talent and nature of Jean Michel Basquiat. And if you love his art, then do watch this movie, it's well worth it.

9/10


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