6.9/10
17,494
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

Chris Rock was considered for the role of Basquiat. According to Rock, he was not interested in the role because, at the time, he did not know who Basquiat was. See more »

Goofs

When Basquiat is painting the Amoco sign, the white stripe runs completely through the black horse. But when Andy Warhol approaches the sign, the white stripe does not continue through the horse. 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

Waiting on a Friend
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Used by Permission of Colgems-EMI Music Inc.
Courtesy of Promotone B.V.
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User Reviews

 
Basquiat - an inspiration.
18 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie 'Basquiat'. It is a subtle portrayal of a complex character, beautifully acted by Jeffrey Wright. It would have been easy for the film-makers to go over board with this movie. Basquiat sure did have the character to allow that. And the fact they didn't feel the need to do that, is why I like this movie so much. It'd been easy to concentrate more on the drug taking, on his immense paranoia, and on his lively lifestyle that went beyond Andy Warhol and Madonna. And doing that would have probably got the movie more hype, attention and plaudits. Instead the makers of this movie just give glimpses of his life and merely suggest a whole lot more, and this works well. It's a movie that goes along more at a stroll than a run, and grows in stature and depth as it does so.

But, the 'problem' if you can call it that, with 'Basquiat' is that you need to know this man's art, and this man's character to really enjoy and appreciate this movie. And that's why I think it maybe doesn't get the sympathetic reviews or attention it deserves. If you didn't know about this man's life before seeing the movie, then I don't know what you could take from the film. And if you watch it without knowing about him and his art, then I can imagine it wouldn't really hit the mark.

What makes this movie beautiful in it's subtlety is that it does great justice to the wonderful talent and nature of Jean Michel Basquiat. And if you love his art, then do watch this movie, it's well worth it.

9/10


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