Rolling Stone - 08/22/1996
"...Schnabel's exceptional film honors his friend by showing the act of creation as a natural high..."
USA Today - 08/14/1996
"...A surprisingly voluminous cast of usual suspects from the world of independent cinema..."
Entertainment Weekly - 08/16/1996
"...Fascinating....[Wright] gives a vivid, near-poetic performance..." -- Rating: B+
Variety - 08/05/1996
"...An illustrious cast of terrific actors that includes Benicio Del Toro, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper and, probably best of all, David Bowie in a brilliant Warhol impersonation..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/1997
"...As much an evocative thesis on creativity as a sensitive biography of a single artist....This is a bold, often beautiful film..."
An insider's look at the kinetic New York art world, told through the life story of Jean-Michel Basquiat. A black, 19-year-old graffiti artist who catapulted to superstardom with his controversial paintings, Basquiat rubbed elbows with the likes of Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel before burning out permanently at the age of 27. Schnabel, himself a celebrated figure in the art world, makes his directing debut.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
BASQUIAT chronicles the meteoric rise to fame of the gifted and charismatic young New York artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, as he emerged from the streets of the East Village to become an internationally renowned sensation.
At age 19, Jean Michel Basquiat was a poor, struggling graffiti artist. Eight years later, he was one of the most famous, acclaimed painters in the world -- and dead of a heroin overdose. "Basquiat" details the tumultuous years in between, concentrating on his meteoric rise within Soho's trendy art world. The charismatic but self-destructive Basquiat had his share of personal demons, including his mother's mental illness, and his hatred of middle-class society... which courted and exploited him. The young artist's heroin addiction eventually led to his death, extinguishing a great talent in the process.
Art / Artists |
Big City |
Character Study |
Personal Triumph |
Theatrical Release |
Shown in competition at the 1996 Venice Film Festival.
Released theatrically in New York City August 9, 1996.
Color by DuArt.
Directorial debut for Julian Schnabel.
Additional cast: Chuck Pfeiffer (Tom Kruger).
Additional credits: Peter Brant, Joseph Allen, Michiyo Yoshizaki (executive producers).