Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

2018

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Critics Consensus

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat offers an insightful look into a key period of the artist's life, his peers and influences, and the early '80s art world.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 76
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Movie Info

A look at Jean-Michel Basquiat's life pre-fame, and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements around him formed the artist he became, BOOM FOR REAL weaves the story of Jean-Michel and the city with never before seen works, writings and photographs. Director Sara Driver worked closely and collaboratively with her friends and other artists who emerged from that scene: Nan Goldin, Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, Luc Sante and many others. As they participated in the film with their thoughts, period film footage, music, images, and anecdotes of their young friend, they helped visually tell the story of Jean-Michel's downtown NYC --pre Aids, President Reagan, the real estate and art boom, and before anyone was motivated by money and ambition. The definition of fame, success and power were very different than today -- to be a penniless but published poet was the height of success, until everything changed in the early 1980's. This is New York City's story before that change.

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Critic Reviews for Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (5)

  • This could be deliberate, making the point that Basquiat was essentially unknowable, but it makes for a film that's considerably less engaging than its subject.

    Jun 22, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Because Basquiat started as a graffiti artist, many of his earliest works were destroyed, so the rare photos here, provided by his friend Alexis Adler, are illuminating.

    Jun 21, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The film doesn't quite get under Basquiat's skin, but does a thorough job of reconstructing that forgotten city of late-70s New York in which Basquiat came of age.

    Jun 21, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A robust and thoughtful profile of a landscape as seen through the prism of an artistic deity.

    Jun 20, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • "Boom for Real" paints a stirring picture of a young artist on his way to the top.

    Jun 15, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • What's admirable about the film is how Driver gives the cross-pollinating forces of music, media, fashion and art such concise, firsthand exploration.

    May 18, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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