6.9/10
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Basquiat (1996)

The brief life of Jean Michel Basquiat, a world renowned New York street artist struggling with fame, drugs and his identity.

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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Mary Boone
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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, Basquiat becomes a star and a part of Andy Warhol's art world circle. But success has a price, and Basquiat pays with friendships, 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

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Build a Fort, Set It on Fire  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,863, 11 August 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,961,991, 24 November 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Rock was considered for the role of Basquiat. According to Rock, he was not interested in the role because, at the time, he did not know who Basquiat was. See more »

Goofs

When Jean Michel discovers that Andy Warhol has died (which occurs in the mid-'80s) there is the store X-Large in the background. X-Large, (created by Mike D from the Beastie Boys) did not open or have clothing until the early nineties. 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

Featured in Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

White Lines
Performed by Melle Mel (as GrandMaster Flash Melle Mel)
Written by Sylvia Robinson and Melle Mel (as Melvin Glover)
Published by Sugar Hill Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Sugar Hill Records
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating look at New York art world
18 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

I'm a sucker for movies set in New York City, which is one reason I decided to see this, that and the supporting cast. I don't know much about Basquiat, his life or work, so I don't know how accurate the movie is, nor do I know much about art, but this film drew me in. I know the film was made by a friend and compatriot of Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, and if there's a weakness, it's that sometimes we feel this is an inside job. Nevertheless, we do go inside the art world, get to know about graffiti, and we get to understand what makes Basquiat tick. I also thought Jeffrey Wright was good in the title role. The supporting cast were all first-rate as well.


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