Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Rated NR 93 minutes 2010

Filmmaker Tamra Davis (Guncrazy, music vids) bases this worshipful, fact-filled documentary on interview footage she shot with the late New York painter in 1986, two years before he died of a heroin overdose at the height of his fame. A parade of art-world admirers – Julian Schnabel, Kenny Scharf, Fab 5 Freddy, Bruno Bischofberger, et al. – explains the meaning of Basquiat: he bridged the gap between the street graffiti scene and the high-art realm with his influential, boundary-defying canvases, and it made him a millionaire. A sad, unfulfilled millionaire, it seems. Put this on a double bill together with Schnabel’s 1996 narrative dramatization Basquiat and let the ironies flow (88 min.).

Film Credits

Director: Tamra Davis

Producer: Lilly Bright, Stanley Buchthal, David Koh and Alexis Spraic

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