6.9/10
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83 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

The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat refused to allow his works to be used, so the director, Julian Schnabel, personally painted the reproductions which are used throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Basquiat goes to look at the basement studio, he leaves the house in his pajamas and robe. When he arrives at the studio he is wearing a different shirt under the robe. 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

Features The Frogs Who Wanted a King (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Rise
Performed by Tripping Daisy
Written by John Lydon, Bill Laswell
Published by Warner Chappell, Rotten Music
Administered by Warner Bros. Music Corp./Chu Teh Music and Nation Music
Courtesy of Island Records
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User Reviews

I think this film is great
4 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

I thought this film captured the feel of SoHo and the downtown art scene in 1980's NYC. (I lived in NYC from 1986 until 2001.) I really like the untethered, free-spirited, and dangerous elements of Basquiat's character. The movie doesn't fit into the film school model of a perfectly constructed piece, but I find that appealling; the film is artful and enjoyable. I watch it whenever it shows up on one of the film channels unedited and uninterrupted. Hope you enjoy it as well.


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