Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 614
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
Jul 21, 2010 Wide
Nov 9, 2010
Arthouse Pictures - Official Site
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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.
[Davis] underplays the place of drugs in the downtown club scene, treating the artist's heroin use as a nearly unaccountable late affliction.
While it is wonderful to see so many Basquiat paintings, at the film's end the viewer is left feeling complicit in the exploitation.
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.
Basquiat appears to be a slippery subject, not unlike Bob Dylan, who is very difficult to decipher.
Conclusive proof that, in certain exclusive circles, it's still better financially to flameout than to fade away.
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.
It's not an easy thing to actually give a sense of a person in a documentary, but Radiant Child pulls it off.
Finally, a film about an artist acknowledges that the art is what's important.
...may not be a well-rounded portrait of the man, but it's a powerful look at the artist.
An absorbing but fawning documentary about doomed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, built around an old, never-before-seen interview with him.
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