The Film Festival continues with Basquiat

FILM: Jean-Michel Basquiat : Radiant Child

FILMMAKER: Tamra Davis

REVIEWER: Becky Beamer

I’ve been on an artist roll – watching documentaries related to artist for the past couple of weeks.  First, it was the Banksy’s Film – Exit through the Gift Shop.  Then I started a film called How to Draw a Bunny (coming soon) and this installment of an artist’s doc is Jean-Michel Basquiat: Radiant CHild .

My day began rainy and behind schedule.  I needed coffee (which is my drink of choice for this movie).  As I walked to the cinema (another day at the Dunedin Film Festival) I had a wishy-washy feeling about another documentary covering the life of another famed artist. After all, I already know a lot about the artist – Basquiat.  He’s awesome.  I respect him and find him down right inspiring.  So – the rainy movie day won out and despite me hesitation I went to the film.

The opening blew me away.  It obviously had an extreme about of detail and precision put into the visuals, the words and the music.  I was immediately impressed – spot on.  The timing was as close to perfect as I’ve seen.  I have nothing bad to say about the opening.

The story is familiar – and other than a couple little facts that Basquiat’s friends interjected throughout the film – there wasn’t too much to learn as a biography.  However, I did learn a lot about Basquiat’s progression of style from friends and colleagues point of view which felt intimate.  I like to learn about his intimate relationships as well.  He is always intense.

The entire movie is complemented by the filmmaker’s home videos.  She was a young film student when she met and started hanging out with Basquiat in LA.  The footage includes B Roll of  Basquiat painting, hanging around, and getting interviewed.  It was beautiful – simple – and honest.  It is THE reason to watch this film.

I left the theater that day very quiet – in contemplation.  I wanted to think and draw.

It’s 5:10 pm.

I need supplies.

The art store closed – only open until 5pm 😦 

5 out of 5 Cheers.

—— b.b

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