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Downtown 81 (1981)
"New York Beat Movie" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 639 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 10 user | 22 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Downtown 81 (1981)

Downtown 81 (1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

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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

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

Brown 69
Written and Performed by Vincent Gallo
Published by Grey Daisy Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Art Trance (I've Got A Boo Boo/Broken Record)
2 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For anybody born after 1990 that ever wondered what the 1980's was all about,this film may (or may not)answer a few questions. Jean Michelle Basquiat stars as himself,in a "day in the life" of a graffiti artist who is trying to raise some money to pay his rent. Along the way, he meets up with one interesting character after another. This film also features performances by some of the era's proto punk/New Wave/No Wave/Hip Hop/etc. musical acts (including out of towner's,Tuxedomoon,in what looks like a very hip music video that MTV would never even consider airing). This started out as 'Glenn O'Brien's New York Beat Movie'(O'Brien co-wrote the screenplay),but was shelved,due to a lack of finances before it was finished filming. The film was directed by Edo Bertoglio, has only directed one other film ('Face Addict'),like 'Beat Movie',dealt with the New York uptown/downtown art scene . The fact that over the years,the soundtrack became lost to time only made matters worse. In the late 1990's,however, the original 16mm negative was found (sans soundtrack),a new soundtrack was made up (using a brand new soundtrack,including a replacement voice over dub for Basquiat,who, had died in 1988),and the film was finally given a limited "art house" release in 2000,under the new title,'Downtown 81'. Not the best film depicting the 1980's,but certainly not the worst. Not rated,but contains some rude language.


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Downtown 81 vs Basquiat alejandroconvers
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