Downtown 81 Reviews

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December 7, 2019
As a music fan, particularly a fan of punk and post-punk, Downtown 81 is essential viewing...
December 5, 2019
Its bygone-ness still abuzz with creativity and movement, "Downtown 81" is a celluloid scrapbook that we can all be thankful for in helping capture the rumble before takeoff.
October 30, 2019
An intermittently electric movie that plays like a hybrid concert documentary, genre parody and art film fairy tale.
October 25, 2019
For anyone steeped in or curious about the often uncategorizable music made during this period, Downtown 81 is a joyous artifact.
October 21, 2019
This time capsule of bohemian New York distorts its representation of the city for reasons more loving than lazy.
October 18, 2019
Viewers of 'Downtown 81' become de facto archaeologists. We peer into long-since-shuttered clubs, and gaze at rubble-filled lower Manhattan blocks where a Whole Foods or Capital One bank may now stand.
June 30, 2014
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.
September 9, 2007
Invaluable because it catches the sights, sounds and moods of a city that are of a bygone era.
August 22, 2005
May 13, 2003
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.
March 7, 2002
A fascinating if fragmented, dreamlike look at the downtown art-music-fashion scene of a yeasty, creative era.
February 1, 2002
A crudely poetic inventory of the people and places about to rock pop culture.
November 2, 2001
Performances by DNA and the Plastics alone are worth the price of admission.
October 18, 2001
It's like being present for the opening of a time capsule.
October 18, 2001
Director Edo Bertoglio and writer-producer Glenn O'Brien gave [Basquiat] little to do but walk around and look pretty.
September 20, 2001
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.
August 24, 2001
a sweet, harmless vision that never quite overcomes the lack of story...
Top Critic
July 24, 2001
A film of considerable pleasure, not least the archival footage and evocation of a city and individuals fair brimming with life.
July 24, 2001
A paean to funky neighborhoods before gentrification and gritty, neon-flecked streets before SUVs.
July 20, 2001
It captures the youthful excitement of a burgeoning creative movement.
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