Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat2018

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2018)

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Critic 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.

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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 (10)

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.

June 21, 2018 | Full Review…

"Boom for Real" paints a stirring picture of a young artist on his way to the top.

June 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…

It's a bit suspicious not to meet anyone who now regrets tossing out both art and artist when things went too far.

May 15, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Fans of Basquiat, Driver and her many, many interview subjects will eat it up. Everyone else will feel compelled on more than one occasion to check their phones.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

What's refreshing about Sara Driver's look-back documentary...is the frisky, contemplative, ground-level angle it takes on its hype-magnet of a subject.

May 10, 2018 | Full Review…

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