Basquiat

1996 | Docudrama | 106 minutes | English and Spanish with English subtitles

Info

Basquiat chronicles the early career of the introverted, homeless, graffiti artist who worked anonymously under the name “Samo.” Basquiat’s success was helped as he associated with fellow artists Andy Warhol and Albert Milo, gallerist Bruno Bischofberger, critic Rene Ricard, and his close friend Benny Dalmau. Sadly, as Basquiat became more famous, his personal life began to spiral downward. His drug addiction became worse, his serious relationship with Gina Cardinale grew rocky, and he was devastated when his mentor, Andy Warhol died. Basquiat died on August 12, 1988. He was only twenty-seven.

Cast

Jeffrey Wright (Jean-Michel Basquiat) / David Bowie (Andy Warhol) / Benicio del Toro (Benny Dalmau) / Claire Forlani (Gina Cardinale) / Dennis Hopper (Bruno Bischofberger) / Gary Oldman (Albert Miro) / Michael Wincott (Rene Ricard)

Why Stream This Film?
 Basquiat lived a short life but he made his mark in the art world. It’s fortunate that his life is so brilliantly depicted by writer/director Julian Schnabel. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 68%
  • Metacritic Score: 65
Accolades
  • Film Independent Spirit Awards: Winner, Best Supporting Male Actor (Benicio del Toro); Best Debut Performance (Jeffrey Wright)
  • National Board of Review: Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking
  • Venice Film Festival: Nominated, Golden Lion
Most movies stress the agony of art. Schnabel’s exceptional film honors his friend by showing the act of creation as a natural high.
Peter Travers

ROLLING STONE

As writer and director, Schnabel should be commended for avoiding Hollywood’s  biopic clichés about artists, as Basquiat’s meteoric rise to fame and tragic death at the age of 27 would have fit perfectly the timeworn formula.
Emmanuel Levy

VARIETY

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