Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)
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Critic Reviews for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Tamra Davis's documentary does serve as a worthy companion to Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic.
In the end the art must speak for the artist; Davis wisely stands aside and lets the magical images tell their tales.
A touching portrait that may not be the last word on the painter, but has facts and context to burn.
The intimate, home video footage -- which has never been shown -- feels poignant, a throwback to Basquiat's early days on the New York scene when he got by on his good looks, an elusive inner confidence, and the generosity of others.
[Davis] underplays the place of drugs in the downtown club scene, treating the artist's heroin use as a nearly unaccountable late affliction.
Audience Reviews for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Up until now, I knew little about Jean-Michel Basquiat, even though I remember the biopic which had been made about his life and have not seen.(That having been said, David Bowie as Andy Warhol? Really?) That all changes with Tamra Davis' fascinating documentary "The Radiant Child" wherein she adds interview footage she had shot of Basquiat to more recent footage of friends and lovers talking about his life and work. So, not only does a personal portrait form but also an artistic one of a street artist once referred to Sam-O with a wordy style that never quite fades. He is noticed and given and takes full opportunity of a chance to create more permanent artwork with influences from a medical textbook, pop culture and William Burroughs which formed paintings that would become very popular, influential and expensive. The documentary starts around 1980 in New York City at a time of cheap rents that benefited the art scene where anybody could have his artwork displayed that makes Basquiat's rise possible, followed by a complete reversal to a top down art world that ends up destroying him.
Moving documentary about the brightest star of the 1980s art world. Thrives on Tamra Davis's original interviews with Basquiat, and cavalcade of compelling talking heads to help contextualize his greatness.
Dude was art down to the soul. His trajectory is just ridiculous. His life was totally tragic. And like any great artist, his work is EVEN NOW being pondered over and appreciated. Solid movie, playing at the FILM BAR in downtown Phoenix.
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