6.9/10
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84 user 46 critic

Basquiat (1996)

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The brief life of Jean Michel Basquiat, a world renowned New York street artist struggling with fame, drugs and his identity.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as Lech J. Majewski), (short story) (as John F. Bowe) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jean Michel Basquiat
... Rene Ricard
... Benny Dalmau
... Gina Cardinale
... Andy Warhol
... Bruno Bischofberger
... Albert Milo
... The Interviewer
... The Electrician
Jean-Claude La Marre ... Shenge (as Jean Claude LaMarre)
... Mary Boone
... Annina Nosei
... Henry Geldzahler
... Big Pink
... 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, Basquiat becomes a star and a part of Andy Warhol's art world circle. But success has a price, and Basquiat pays with friendships, 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:

Official site

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Build a Fort, Set It on Fire  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,863, 11 August 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,961,991, 24 November 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the end of the movie, Albert Milo (Gary Oldman) shows Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright) one of his paintings and tells him that he painted it for a friend who died. "JMB AUG 12" appears in white letters in the upper right corner. Those are Jean Michel Basquiat's initials and the date of his death. See more »

Goofs

When Basquiat is painting on the floor in his studio, part of the painting in the upper-left hand corner disappears and reappears. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Entourage: Busey and the Beach (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Suicide Mode
Performed by Nicholas Marion Taylor
Written by Nicholas Marion Taylor
Published by Harold Dessau's Edelweis Music Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Like the artist himself, this movie had style
9 September 2003 | by 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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