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Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child Reviews

Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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September 24, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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Tamra Davis's documentary does serve as a worthy companion to Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

October 8, 2010
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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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.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

September 16, 2010
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A touching portrait that may not be the last word on the painter, but has facts and context to burn.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 16, 2010
Sebastian Smee
Boston Globe
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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.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

September 16, 2010
Kenneth Baker
San Francisco Chronicle
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[Davis] underplays the place of drugs in the downtown club scene, treating the artist's heroin use as a nearly unaccountable late affliction.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

September 2, 2010
Gale Robinson
Dallas Morning News
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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.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 2/5

August 20, 2010
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a remarkably rich documentary possessing depth, range, insight and compassion.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 19, 2010
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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If The Radiant Child embellishes the legend in a hundred small ways, its cleverest maneuver is to keep its subject at enough of a remove to enhance his mystique.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 21, 2010
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The legend of the artist's meteoric rise and fall (to heroin) is so widely known -- and already dramatized via Julian Schnabel's fine biopic, Basquiat -- that Davis is smart to go as personal as she can.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

July 21, 2010
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
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[Davis'] homage -- tender, never hagiographic -- also contains some biting analysis of the racism, both overt and insidious, that the artist was up against.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

July 20, 2010
Robert Koehler
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Tamra Davis' labor of love... is a tender ode from one friend to another, but it's also another wheel in the hype machine that persists around the late, famed painter who blew apart the art scene in the 1980s.

Full Review Source: Variety

July 7, 2010
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
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Lively and touching doc combines insider view of its art-star subject with smart present-day interviews.

July 7, 2010
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