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Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 659

My Rating

Movie Info

In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. He became notorious for his graffiti art under the moniker Samo in the late 1970s on the Lower East Side scene, sold his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200, and became best friends with Andy Warhol. Appreciated by both the art cognoscenti and the public, Basquiat was launched into international stardom. However, soon his cult status began to override the art that had made him famous in the first place. Director Tamra Davis pays

Nov 9, 2010

$0.3M

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (5) | DVD (2)

Tamra Davis's documentary does serve as a worthy companion to Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
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In the end the art must speak for the artist; Davis wisely stands aside and lets the magical images tell their tales.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A touching portrait that may not be the last word on the painter, but has facts and context to burn.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Comment (1)
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The intimate, home video footage -- which has never been shown -- feels poignant, a throwback to Basquiat's early days on the New York scene when he got by on his good looks, an elusive inner confidence, and the generosity of others.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Davis] underplays the place of drugs in the downtown club scene, treating the artist's heroin use as a nearly unaccountable late affliction.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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While it is wonderful to see so many Basquiat paintings, at the film's end the viewer is left feeling complicit in the exploitation.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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What may convince viewers of the quality of the art and the genius of its creator is the barrage of so many paintings, flashing each briefly before the eyes.

November 18, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Basquiat appears to be a slippery subject, not unlike Bob Dylan, who is very difficult to decipher.

November 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

[Director Tamra Davis] uses [a rare] interview as the foundation for an eye-opening look at Basquiat?s meteoric career ? and how art, fame, drugs and media collided in this one young man?s life.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune | Comment (1)
Salt Lake Tribune

When you see J-M's works next to Da Vinci, Picasso and Grey's Anatomy, you can see their influence, but their ideas take on new tone, texture and style under Basquiat's brush.

September 17, 2010 | Comment (1)
Reeling Reviews

It's not an easy thing to actually give a sense of a person in a documentary, but Radiant Child pulls it off.

September 17, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Finally, a film about an artist acknowledges that the art is what's important.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

...may not be a well-rounded portrait of the man, but it's a powerful look at the artist.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Fame ultimately wore him down, but we can see Basquiat's influence all around us, on factory walls, in museums, and in Ms. Davis' adoring doc.

September 8, 2010 Full Review Source: East Bay Express | Comment (1)
East Bay Express

A lively and persuasive look at the artist's life, oeuvre, and impact.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian | Comment (1)
Oregonian

An absorbing but fawning documentary about doomed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, built around an old, never-before-seen interview with him.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

Will likely go down as the definitive account of a too-brief career and life...(The film) is fast-moving without sacrificing depth or detail.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

What really sets this superb documentary apart is its filmic vibrance: it practically pulsates with a captivating energy that's lacking in the genre all too frequently.

August 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Film and Felt | Comment (1)
Film and Felt

It's still better to flameout than to fade away.

August 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Weekly Press
Weekly Press

Audience Reviews for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Up until now, I knew little about Jean-Michel Basquiat, even though I remember the biopic which had been made about his life and have not seen.(That having been said, David Bowie as Andy Warhol? Really?) That all changes with Tamra Davis' fascinating documentary "The Radiant Child" wherein she adds interview footage she had shot of Basquiat to more recent footage of friends and lovers talking about his life and work. So, not only does a personal portrait form but also an artistic one of a street artist once referred to Sam-O with a wordy style that never quite fades. He is noticed and given and takes full opportunity of a chance to create more permanent artwork with influences from a medical textbook, pop culture and William Burroughs which formed paintings that would become very popular, influential and expensive. The documentary starts around 1980 in New York City at a time of cheap rents that benefited the art scene where anybody could have his artwork displayed that makes Basquiat's rise possible, followed by a complete reversal to a top down art world that ends up destroying him.
November 18, 2011
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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