New York Beat Movie (Downtown 81) (2001)
Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,817
Originally shot in 1980-81, this film, directed by Edo Bertoglio, is a rare real-life snapshot of ultra-hip subculture of post-punk era Manhattan. Starring renowned artist Jean Michel Basquiat (who died in 1988 at age 27) and featuring such early Village hipsters as Melle Mel, John Lurie, and Lydia Lunch, the film is a bizarre elliptical urban fairytale. The film opens with Jean (Basquiat) in the hospital with an undisclosed ailment. After checking out, he happens upon an enigmatic woman,
Jul 13, 2001 Limited
Aug 27, 2002
Zeitgeist - Official Site
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A fascinating if fragmented, dreamlike look at the downtown art-music-fashion scene of a yeasty, creative era.
A crudely poetic inventory of the people and places about to rock pop culture.
Performances by DNA and the Plastics alone are worth the price of admission.
Gives us a glimpse of the city as it was, suggesting that there was something revolutionary, even inspiring, about those days of not-so yore.
It captures the youthful excitement of a burgeoning creative movement.
Although Basquiat is effortlessly charismatic, he isn't given much to do; the film leans heavily on narration, much of which crosses the line separating poetic from pretentious.
Invaluable because it catches the sights, sounds and moods of a city that are of a bygone era.
It's not a great film, but rather disjointed as nothing really makes sense. But considering this is the only glimpse one would ever see of Basquiat before he was discovered by Andy Warhol, this film is somewhat of a masterpiece.
Director Edo Bertoglio and writer-producer Glenn O'Brien gave [Basquiat] little to do but walk around and look pretty.
a sweet, harmless vision that never quite overcomes the lack of story...
A paean to funky neighborhoods before gentrification and gritty, neon-flecked streets before SUVs.
A film of considerable pleasure, not least the archival footage and evocation of a city and individuals fair brimming with life.
As a piece of cinematic art, this meandering, shambolic film isn't much to speak of, but as a time capsule, it's priceless.
Presents the underground culture and brings its pretentiousness along with it.
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