Magnificient documentary detailing the short artistic life of Jean-Michel Basquiat. An obvious labor of love for director Tamra Davis who has certainly never shown hint of the talent displayed here. Yes the film is missing commentary from the detractors and missing some key people involved in his career but it doesn't hinder the end product. Who would have ever thought one would be nostalgic for 80's NYC.
I first watched Julian Schnabel's film from 1996, "Basquiat". I found Jeffery Wright's performance to be dead on after seeing this documentary. I watched this right after I finished Schnabel's film because I wanted to see more of the real man and his life/art. So inspiring.
It's interesting and insightful at times, but it is little more than double-length "Behind the Music" account of the artist's brief career. As someone who's new to Basquiat's work, I didn't feel like I learned very much. Those with a good knowledge of his work and the scene he came from will value this even less, I think.
A thorough documentary on the rise and fall of Jean-Michel Basquiat, an intelligent enfant terrible of the fine art world who came from graffiti, the early 1980s New York scene and then post-mortem-revolutionised art as one of the major influences for a lot of people. Speaking of which, many people were interviewed for this, among them Fab 5 Freddy, Julian Schnabel and Basquiat's art dealer, friends and critics.
As a fan of Basquiat for a few years now, I can saw that this documentary has made me feel much closer with his works as well as with the man himself. When watching the biopic Basquiat directed by Julian Schnabel, I found that the savant like way Jean was portrayed was hard to identify with, whereas it was the use of actual interviews and footage in The Radiant Child that powerfully resonated with me.
Went to see Radiant Child at the Reel Film Festival in Toronto. The documentary is very well made, very lucid, and in the end makes you feel closer to Basquiat's work, or at least it I did. Highly recommend it. Most surprising was Basquiat's relationship with Andy Warhol.