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Downtown 81 Photos

Movie Info

"Downtown 81" is a feature film starring the legendary American artist Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988.) Basquiat was a 19 year old painter, graffiti artist, poet and musician when he played the lead in this film, which vividly depicts the explosive downtown New York art and music scene of 1980-81.

Cast & Crew

Anna Schroeder
The Love Interest
Daniela Morera
Mrs. Cavalcanti
Steve Mass
Drunk at the Go-Go Bar
Saul Williams
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Voice
Edo Bertoglio
Director
Glenn O'Brien
Writer
Maripol
Producer
Glenn O'Brien
Co-Producer
Michael Zilkha
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for Downtown 81

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Downtown 81

  • May 21, 2012
    "Downtown 81" wants to be transcendent and wants to the cognoscenti on art and culture. I'm not sure if it achieves just that (it probably doesn't,) but it does manage to capture the small pockets of culture in Manhattan that revolves around music, visual arts, fashion, etc. If anything the film is a fascinating time capsule that looks like a documentary and has the ultra-left ideas and attitudes of the people in the place imbedded in the screenplay. As the film progresses it gets more and more avant-garde, and like the hip drugged youth in the film whose ambitions only go as far as their ecstacy/ketamine/THC-suppressed drive for change, the film also feels as if it nearly loses sight of its original ambition and scope, especially in the 2nd and 3rd act. The film embraces its disjointedness and converts itself into, what might as well be, a compilation of electrifying, kinetic music videos, as inane and aimless they may be. But, at the same time it is an impeccable showcase of the area's culture and the people whom it belongs to. Other than the premise, which is still somewhat interesting, most notably with the charming ending, some choices in editing and camera angles are questionable. At best the film, which is really just an embodiment of one idea after the other, is moderately interesting. Perhaps amusing or a pleasant distraction. Just don't expect it to be nearly as enriching as it pretends to be.
    Edward S Super Reviewer

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