7.2/10
793
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:

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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

In 1981, financial problems prevented the post-production and release of the film. Subsequently, parts of the film became lost over the years. After much searching, the missing materials were located in 1998. Finally, post production began in 1999 and the film was released in 2000. 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

Cokane In My Brain
Written by Lester Bullocks
Performed by Dillinger
Published by Blue Mountain Music, Ltd. (PRS)
All rights controlled and administrated by Rykomusic, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not very good unless only interested in NY music scene of '81
22 September 2002 | by (Arizona, USA) – See all my reviews

The only redeeming quality of this film is that it shows bands and their music when it was changing in NY during '81. As for the film itself it has at least three major flaws. First of all, there is narration throughout the film, which is not required at all. In the few places where there is some explanation necessary just adding a little dialogue would have gone a long way. Secondly, there was no obvious attempt to synchronize any of the audio, in fact it is quite apparent that most of the dialogue was recorded later with no attempt to match the film. The third flaw was in the ending. I will not give the ending away for those brave souls that would endure the torture of sitting through the film, but it commits a cardinal sin in screenwriting. Not worth the money or time it takes to see this, unless you are a fan of one of the represented bands.


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