1996 | Docudrama | 106 minutes | English and Spanish with English subtitles
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.
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?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 68%
- Metacritic Score: 65
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
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Most movies stress the agony of art. Schnabel’s exceptional film honors his friend by showing the act of creation as a natural high.
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.
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