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New York Beat Movie (1981) - movie overview

New York Beat Movie (1981)

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Plot Description

Release Date
Jul 13, 2001
DVD Release Date
 R1: Aug 13, 2002

Official Website:
New York Beat Movie Website

Running Time
1 hour, 13 minutes

Country USA

Studio Zeitgeist Films

More info on

Other Titles
• New York Beat Movie
• Downtown 81 (2001)
• Glenn O'Brien's New York Beat Movie (1981)

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Genre: Documentary, Drama, Comedy, Biography

Plot: DOWNTOWN 81 is a feature film starring the legendary American artist Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988.) Basquiat was a 19 year old painter, graffiti artist, poet and musician when he played the lead in this film, which vividly depicts the explosive downtown New York art and music scene of 1980-81. Basquiat was an important figure on that scene. He had yet to have his first exhibition. But his paintings and words were part of the city landscape. Today, his paintings hang in museums and important collections around the world and he is internationally recognized as one of the most important artists of the late twentieth century.

The film is a day in the life of a young artist who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but hes paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so hell have a place to spend the night.

Basquiat is a natural actor - witty, radiant, the epitome of coolness and artistic exuberance. The cast includes Deborah Harry, and leading bands of

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 Directed by
Edo Bertoglio
TV Party, Homo cinematographicus
 Written by
Glenn O'Brien
TV Party
Vincent Gallo
Goodfellas, Buffalo '66, Arizona Dream
Deborah Harry
Cop Land, Videodrome, Spun
Eszter Balint
Trees Lounge, Stranger Than Paradise, The Linguini Incident
Jean Michel Basquiat
Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol, TV Party, And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop
Victor Bockris
TV Party
Clem Burke
Mayor of the Sunset Strip, New York Doll, Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live
 Music By
Vincent Gallo
Goodfellas, Buffalo '66, Arizona Dream

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