Basquiat (1996)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB

USA, 1996.  Eleventh Street Production, Jon Kilik, Miramax.  Screenplay by Julian Schnabel, story development by , based on the story by , and the short story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by , Julian Schnabel.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat is divulged in this uninteresting biopic that stars the enigmatic  in the lead role. Basquiat was a street artist in early 1980s New York whose unique visual style had him enjoying a fully-ignited fifteen minutes of fame before a premature death of drug addiction. Throughout his short life’s journey, we meet some of the people who influenced him most, from loving girlfriend () to mentor Andy Warhol (a hilariously bad ), plus some chance encounters with odd strangers.  Visual artist Julian Schnabel debuted as a filmmaker with this one, and although he captures the world that Basquiat inhabited extremely well, there’s no introspective look at the man’s life, leaving the film completely without passion.

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition

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