August 9th, 1996


more trailers Basquiat

Jeffrey Wright stars as Jean Michel BasquiatBischofberger & WarholBasquiat, Warhol, Milo & BischofbergerGary Oldman co-stars as Albert MiloBasquiat with Andy WarholChristopher Walken as the interviewer

Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist...

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.8/10 (9,631 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Director: Julian Schnabel

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro

Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is "discovered" by Andy Warhol's art world and becomes a star. But success has a high price, and Basquiat pays with friendship, love, and eventually, his life.

Writers: Lech Majewski, John Bowe

Jeffrey Wright - Jean Michel Basquiat
Michael Wincott - Rene Ricard
Benicio Del Toro - Benny Dalmau
Claire Forlani - Gina Cardinale
David Bowie - Andy Warhol
Dennis Hopper - Bruno Bischofberger
Gary Oldman - Albert Milo
Christopher Walken - The Interviewer
Willem Dafoe - The Electrician
Jean-Claude La Marre - Shenge (as Jean Claude LaMarre)
Parker Posey - Mary Boone
Elina Löwensohn - Annina Nosei
Paul Bartel - Henry Geldzahler
Courtney Love - Big Pink
Tatum O'Neal - Cynthia Kruger

Taglines: In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took The New York Art World By Storm. The Rest Is Art History.

Release Date: 9 August 1996

Filming Locations: New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,300,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $83,863 (USA) (11 August 1996) (6 Screens)

Gross: $2,961,991 (USA) (24 November 1996)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat refused to allow his works to be used, so the director, Julian Schnabel, personally painted the reproductions which are used throughout the film.

Miscellaneous: In the first scene where Basquiat does graffiti, there is a "Sane" tag next to him that reads "SANE 95'" when the movie is supposed to be set in the early '80s.

[first lines]
Rene: Everybody wants to get on the Van Gogh boat. There's no trip so horrible that someone won't take it. The idea of the unrecognized genius slaving away in a garot is deliciously foolish one. We must credit the life of Vincent Van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit...

User Review

Basquiat - an inspiration.

Rating: 9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie 'Basquiat'. It is a subtle portrayal of a complex character, beautifully acted by Jeffrey Wright. It would have been easy for the film-makers to go over board with this movie. Basquiat sure did have the character to allow that. And the fact they didn't feel the need to do that, is why I like this movie so much. It'd been easy to concentrate more on the drug taking, on his immense paranoia, and on his lively lifestyle that went beyond Andy Warhol and Madonna. And doing that would have probably got the movie more hype, attention and plaudits. Instead the makers of this movie just give glimpses of his life and merely suggest a whole lot more, and this works well. It's a movie that goes along more at a stroll than a run, and grows in stature and depth as it does so.

But, the 'problem' if you can call it that, with 'Basquiat' is that you need to know this man's art, and this man's character to really enjoy and appreciate this movie. And that's why I think it maybe doesn't get the sympathetic reviews or attention it deserves. If you didn't know about this man's life before seeing the movie, then I don't know what you could take from the film. And if you watch it without knowing about him and his art, then I can imagine it wouldn't really hit the mark.

What makes this movie beautiful in it's subtlety is that it does great justice to the wonderful talent and nature of Jean Michel Basquiat. And if you love his art, then do watch this movie, it's well worth it.