6.9/10
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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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Popularity
4,052 ( 123)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Bowie had previously recorded a song about Andy Warhol, who he portrays in this movie, called "Andy Warhol" on his album Hunky Dory. Much to Bowie's horror, Warhol hated the song so much, he literally walked out of the room when Bowie first played it for him in 1971. "He was cringing with embarrassment," Bowie said in 1997. "I think he thought I really put him down in the song." See more »

Goofs

A copyright symbol on one of Basquiat's graffiti art is shown before he actually paints it. 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 »


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3, Opus 36
(Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)
Performed by London Sinfonietta
Conducted by David Zinman Featuring Dawn Upshaw
Written by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (as Henryk Górecki)
Published by Boosey and Hawkes Music Inc.
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

I think this film is great
4 June 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I thought this film captured the feel of SoHo and the downtown art scene in 1980's NYC. (I lived in NYC from 1986 until 2001.) I really like the untethered, free-spirited, and dangerous elements of Basquiat's character. The movie doesn't fit into the film school model of a perfectly constructed piece, but I find that appealling; the film is artful and enjoyable. I watch it whenever it shows up on one of the film channels unedited and uninterrupted. Hope you enjoy it as well.


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