About this item
This film is just as much a tribute to New York's Lower East Side in the 1980s--a grimy, crazy, bohemian "paradise" where drug-peddling street junkies, super models, post-punk rockers, and hustlers in stretch limousines all stand on equal ground--as it is about the artist Jean Michel Basquiat. The film follows 19-year-old Basquiat during a 24-hour period as he wanders the streets aimlessly. Reciting poetry in voice over, Basquait sprays graffiti art on alleyway walls, flirts with beautiful women he sees on the street, charms a rich collector into buying one of his paintings for $500, smokes joints, and drifts from club to club all night long. In fact, the second half of the film takes place almost entirely in smokey clubs, and unrolls like a rock video capturing some excellent, unmistakably '80s, rock performances. Debbie Harry of Blondie, and bands DNA, Tuxedo Moon, and the Plastics all make appearances. Basquiat died in 1991 at age 29. The film was shot 10 years prior, in 1981, under the title "New York Beat," but the production was left unfinished until 2000, when its title was changed to DOWNTOWN 81. In 2001, it received a theatrical release in New York City.
Movie Category: Feature
Movie MPAA Rating: R
Movie Studio: Music Box Films
Movie Genre: Comedy
Movie Type: Urban Comedy
Movie Theme: Bohemian Life, Musician's Life, Twentysomething Life, Life in the Arts
MPAA Warnings: Adult Situations, Profanity
Run Time: 75 (minutes)
Software Format: DVD
Street Date: December 7, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 246-00-9026
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