Your assessment of this movie depends completely on what you are looking for. If you come to this film without any knowledge of who and what and why, it will be disappointing. But if you approach the film not as a movie in the regular sense but as an historical document of a moment in time, then it becomes an entirely different experience. In this sense it helps to understand what is being documented and who these people are. Some working knowledge of the late 70s NYC downtown scene, the Mudd Club, T.V. Party, the lower east side art boom, the post-punk music world, etc. gives you a much greater sense of appreciation. Understood historically and not just as another film, whether the movie works as a traditional film, whether the plot is interesting or the characters well developed (a tricky proposition seeing that the original dialogue was lost and had to be re-dubbed) doesn't matter. What you are seeing is the last truly avant garde art and music scene in the US before AIDS, money, MTV and the rest destroyed it. And it focuses on someone right at the center of the storm, Basquiat before his rise to international fame. (Another commentator questioned Basquiat's cultural credibility, but I'm not sure what culture he is talking about). Beyond that the musical performances are exceptional and rare and are worth the price of admission by themselves. This is a portrait of something lost and timeless. It is a fascinating historical document and should be appreciated as such.