7.2/10
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10 user 22 critic

Downtown 81 (1981)

New York Beat Movie (original title)
The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ted Bafaloukos ...
Junk Dealer
Tom Baker ...
Go-Go Bar Patron
...
Herself
...
Himself
Roberta Bayley ...
Street Girl
Snooky Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Tish Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Bemshi ...
Dancer
Victor Bockris ...
Conversationalist at Mudd Club
Byron Bowie ...
Himself
Joe Bowie ...
Himself - Trombonist, James White & The Blacks
Diane Brill ...
Kid Creole Announcer
Steven Brown ...
Himself
John Browner ...
Go-Go Bar Patron
Clem Burke ...
The Felons band member
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Storyline

The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he's paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he'll have a place to spend the night. Downtown 81 not only captures one of the most interesting and lively artists of the twentieth century as he is poised for fame, but it is a slice of life from one of the most exciting periods in American culture, with the emergence of new wave music, new painting, hip hop and graffiti. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Downtown 81  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,436 (USA) (13 July 2001)

Gross:

$100,293 (USA) (26 October 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unfortunately, the original soundtrack became destroyed over the years. The producers were able to get most of the original cast to re-dub their dialogue. But Jean Michel Basquiat died in 1988. So Saul Williams was hired to dub Basquiat's dialogue. See more »

Quotes

Jean Michel Basquiat: I'm an artist. When you tell people that they usually say, 'what's your medium?' I usually say, 'extra large.'
See more »

Connections

Followed by Face Addict (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Rapture
Written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
Performed by Blondie and Melle Mel
Published by Chrysalis Music/Monster Island Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Reply to Xanadu-2, as to where it has been for 20 years
20 October 2002 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Hello there, The fact that this movie came out after 20 years is due to some kind of miracle : business problems prevented post-production to be completed in 81 and then part of the footage of the film was lost in Europe. It took about 16 years to find it again. It contributed to building the legend of some underground artists like Tuxedomoon who, in 1981, kind of counted partly on that movie to make them famous, as they well deserved, on the East coast. In 2000, when the film came out at the Cannes festival, it contributed to put them back together after about ten years of solely concentrating on their solo career, being now dispersed all over the world (Mexico, New York, Athens, Brussels), as the footage of this film once was...


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Downtown 81 vs Basquiat alejandroconvers
Saul Williams? lft_tackle
Song that opens film Cquacks77
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Soundtrack YoBadAzizi84
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