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:

Julian Schnabel

Writers:

Lech Majewski (story) (as Lech J. Majewski), John Bowe (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:
Jeffrey Wright ... Jean Michel Basquiat
Michael Wincott ... Rene Ricard
Benicio Del Toro ... Benny Dalmau
Claire Forlani ... Gina Cardinale
David Bowie ... Andy Warhol
Dennis Hopper ... Bruno Bischofberger
Gary Oldman ... Albert Milo
Christopher Walken ... The Interviewer
Willem Dafoe ... The Electrician
Jean-Claude La Marre Jean-Claude La Marre ... Shenge (as Jean Claude LaMarre)
Parker Posey ... Mary Boone
Elina Löwensohn ... Annina Nosei
Paul Bartel ... Henry Geldzahler
Courtney Love ... Big Pink
Tatum O'Neal ... 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:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Build a Fort, Set It on Fire See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Oldman's character, Albert Milo, wasn't a real person, but is actually an ironic self-portrayal of writer/director Julian Schnabel. Milo's daughter Stella is played by Schnabel's real-life daughter Stella Schnabel. See more »

Goofs

When Jean Michel is first painting in his new basement studio, he's painting two paintings simultaneously; a large and a small one, both on the floor. He paints a large black stripe on the small one, which disappears then reappears between shots. 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

Featured in Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not in Love
Performed by The Toadies
Written by David Byrne
Published by Index Music Bleu Disque Music
Administered by RZO Music Inc.
Courtesy of Interscope Records
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User Reviews

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