7.2/10
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Downtown 81 (1981)

New York Beat Movie (original title)
Unrated | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 14 March 2001 (France)
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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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Weigand ...
Doctor
Cyndy Schneidau ...
Nurse
Millie Schneidau ...
Nurse
Steven Z. Soszynski ...
Grocer
Anna Schroeder ...
Béatrice
Giorgio Gomelsky ...
Landlord (as Giorgio Giomelsky)
Ted Bafaloukos ...
Junk Dealer
Bobby Grossman ...
East Village Junkie
Mickey Clean ...
Pot Dealer
Roberta Bayley ...
Street Girl
Dave Street ...
Musician
Tish Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Snooky Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Kool Kyle ...
Rapper
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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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

14 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Downtown 81  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,436, 15 July 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,293, 28 October 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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.'
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Connections

Featured in Basquiat (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

15 Minutes
Written and Performed by Chris Stein
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User Reviews

Reply to Xanadu-2, as to where it has been for 20 years
20 October 2002 | by 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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