Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is “discovered” by Andy Warhol’s art world and becomes a star. But success has a high price, and Basquiat pays with friendship, love, and eventually, his life. —IMDb
Raised in Texas, director Julian Schnabel began his career as an artist, holding his first solo exhibition in 1975 at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Schnabel became a key figure in the Neo-expressionism artistic movement, utilizing an audacious style that was often described as raw, evocative, and unapologetic. Schnabel’s filmmaking career began in 1996 when he wrote and directed Basquiat, a biopic about the life of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film was well received by critics, and he followed it up with another biopic, 2000’s Before Night Falls, about Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. In 2007, Schnabel directed an adaptation of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a stroke and became paralyzed in every part of his body except for a single eyelid. The film screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Palm award; Schnabel also won the festival’s Best Director award. His success there was just the beginning… read more
The Pogues were used very well in this film...Hell, the whole soundtrack was great. The same old story of rags to fame to riches and drugs, which sadly gets tiresome no matter how true the story is...but it's Basquiat, and I prefer this one over many other biopics, because I can't remember being bored once. Very fine acting, and fascinating imagery.
This is my favorite biopic of all time. Jeffery Wright is a revelation as Basquiat. How Wright carries himself, his slight stutter and his mannerisms all work to evoke a man trying to hide a wounded child inside. The movie is adroitly cast and the soundtrack is pitch perfect. Schnabel knows the 80's art scene and has the confidence to portray it honestly. Schnabel's deft cinematic touch works emotional wonders.
The scene in the restaurant towards the end where he is having dinner with Gina/Claire and the upper class white men are behaving like baboons, man I really wanted to reach into the screen and give Basquiat/Wright a hug. Wright really showed the shyness and loneliness of Jean-Michel. I felt for him.