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  • Summary: In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. He became notorious for his graffiti art under the moniker Samo in the late 1970s on the Lower East Side scene, sold his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200, and became best friends with Andy Warhol. Appreciated by both the art cognoscenti and the public, Basquiat was launched into international stardom. However, soon his cult status began to override the art that had made him famous in the first place. Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary. (Arthouse Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. A remarkably rich documentary possessing depth, range, insight and compassion.
  2. Davis does the most thorough job of capturing Basquiat, man, artist, and life force.
  3. 83
    This is the first full-length movie about his painting and his being that gets anywhere near close to comprehending both.
  4. I doubt that Jean-Michel Basquiat would have endorsed the subtitle. Indeed, The Radiant Child seems to inflate the very cliché that the rest of this film is keen to refute.
  5. 75
    Talking heads include friends, fellow artists, art dealers and former girlfriends. One contributor is Julian Schnabel, the painter and filmmaker who directed the 1996 biopic "Basquiat."
  6. Reviewed by: Sebastian Smee
    75
    Some of the most honest and tender observations come from Basquiat's girlfriend at the time, Suzanne Mallouk.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Baker
    50
    People who have seen fellow painter Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat" - with its star-making portrayal by Jeffrey Wright - may reasonably trust its truth as a tribute over Davis' ostensibly more factual exercise.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

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