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First-time writer/director and reknowned '80s pop artist Schnabel paints a celluloid portrait of African-American artist Jean Michel Basquiat, who went from grafitti artist to overnight sensation in the mid-1980s before dying of a drug overdose at 27. Schnabel's first-hand knowledge provides details of the painters, the dealers, and the patrons of the whirlwind New York art scene of the time, using an all-star cast (no mean feat on a $3 million budget). Making the move from stage to screen, Wright is an aptly deep and elusive Basquiat and Bowie stands out in a marvelously concevied portrayal of Basquiat's pseudo-mentor, the equally sensational Warhol. Features authentic works of the artists portrayed and some very convincing Basquiat reproductions done by Schnabel.

Miramax Film Corp., 8439 W Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069-1921, Phone: (323)650-2937, URL:

Available on Running time 108 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Struggling Artists, Art & Artists, Drug Use & Abuse, New York, New York, Biopics: Artists, Rebel With a Cause
Julian Schnabel
Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro, Parker Posey, Elina Lowensohn, Courtney Love, Claire Forlani, Willem Dafoe, Paul Bartel, Tatum O'Neal, Chuck Pfeiffer
Ron Fortunato
Julian Schnabel
John Cale
Jon Kilik, Randy Ostrow, Joni Sighvatsson, Peter Brant, Joseph Allen, Michiyo Yoshizaki, Miramax Films


Ind. Spirit 1997: Support. Actor (Del Toro).

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