6.9/10
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81 user 45 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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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 and Gary Oldman have both played Pontius Pilate. Bowie played the role in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Oldman played him in Jesus (1999). See more »

Goofs

As Basquiat walks with Gina for the first time, a woman is seen behind them walking a dog on a retractable leash. Retractable leashes were not available in 1981. 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

Is That All There Is?
Performed by Peggy Lee
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Published by Jerry Leiber Music/Mike Stoller Music
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
Like the artist himself, this movie had style
9 September 2003 | by (The Greater Southwest) – See all my reviews

I enjoy Basquiat's artwork. When I look at it, It doesn't look like it took a great amount of talent. His work tended to look very simple, really basic ideas. However, the creativity is overwhelming. He was a minimalist, that came up with simplistic masterpieces. Yeah, it was not real hard to do, but few have ever had such creative ideas. This film reminds me so much of the artist himself. It has a ton of style, it is fun to watch, somewhat uneventful, and like the artist, it is destined to be remembered, because style never dies. Heavyweight talent is everywhere, with actors such as Dennis Hopper, Benecio Del Torro, Geofrey Wright, David Bowie, Willam DeFoe, etc. I don't think either the film or the artist were that special, so why can't I forget either?


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