schedule

Downtown 81

featuring

Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Lurie, Maripol, Deborah Harry,

Jean-Michel Basquiat is, like Van Gogh, one of cinema’s favorite artists. He plays a fictionalized version of himself in Downtown 81, a gritty urban fairy tale written and produced by music critic Glenn O’Brien. It depicts the charismatic Basquiat wandering through a blighted early-eighties Lower East Side, tagging, trying to sell a painting, looking for a place to sleep, and dropping in on performances or rehearsals by James White and the Blacks, DNA, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and others. Unfinished due to financial issues, the film was finally reconstructed and released in 2000, a compelling glimpse of a New York bohemia long gone.

Kate MacKay
FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Glenn O'Brien
Cinematographer
  • John McNully
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 72 mins
Source
  • Metrograph
Preceded By

Sketches and Portraits for Jean-Michel

Ephraim Asili, United States, 2017

Revisiting the places Basquiat roamed, Asili finds in them traces of the artist’s inspirations and his influence.

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • Color
  • Digital
  • 10 mins
source
  • Ephraim Asili