Downtown 81 (1981)

April 16, 2016

Although several biographic movies about Basquiat were released after the artist’s untimely death, it appeared that the person who can portray Jean-Michel Basquiat the best is the artist himself. Originally titled New York Beat Movie and shot at the beginning of the 1980’s, Downtown 81 was finally released in 2000. The plot follows a day in a life of a young artist and it’s nicely interwoven with the cultural context of a post-punk era in the New York city. Even though the dialogue audio has been lost, much of the original soundtrack was preserved and we get to see Basquiat as he charmingly wanders downtown New York during one of the most exciting periods of American subculture.


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