CineFile – Basquiat

by A. Jay Adler on February 20, 2011
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“My mom told me this story – or was it a dream?”

It makes sense that it might take another painter to make a masterly, even painterly film about a painter. In both of these scenes from the 1996 film, director Julian Schnabel conveys an idiosyncratic ingenuousness in Jeffrey Wright‘s Jean-Michel Basquiat that mixes with his world waryness. In the first scene Michael Wincott plays Rene Ricard. In the second scene, Benicio Del Toro plays the composite character Benny Dalmau.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

D.M. Solis February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Naturally, I like this, because of featured action of painting. But the writing is soooo tight too. Very fine, Dear One. “You’re the news and I want the scoop.” It is almost too corn-ball and such a “line” to be in such an edgy work…and edgy is already a cliche, so there I go too. Love this, thank you,



A. Jay Adler February 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Diane – and Jeffrey Wright’s acting is so refined. I tried, too, to find one of the scenes in which a surfer rides a wave in the sky above the city. It’s in in the trailer, but I didn’t want to use the trailer.


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