Downtown 81

Downtown 81

5.0 1
Director: Edo Bertoglio

Cast: Edo Bertoglio, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anna Schroeder, Marshall Chess

     
 

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Originally shot in 1980-81, this film, directed by Edo Bertoglio, is a rare real-life snapshot of ultra-hip subculture of post-punk era Manhattan. Starring renowned artist Jean Michel Basquiat (who died in 1988 at age 27) and featuring such early Village hipsters as Melle Mel, John Lurie, and Lydia Lunch, the film is a bizarre elliptical urban fairytale. The film…  See more details below

Overview

Originally shot in 1980-81, this film, directed by Edo Bertoglio, is a rare real-life snapshot of ultra-hip subculture of post-punk era Manhattan. Starring renowned artist Jean Michel Basquiat (who died in 1988 at age 27) and featuring such early Village hipsters as Melle Mel, John Lurie, and Lydia Lunch, the film is a bizarre elliptical urban fairytale. The film opens with Jean (Basquiat) in the hospital with an undisclosed ailment. After checking out, he happens upon an enigmatic woman, Beatrice (Anna Schroeder), who drives around in a convertible. He arrives at his apartment only to discover that his landlord is evicting him. Later, while trying to sell his art work, he meets up with musician Arto Lindsay and his band DNA. Jean eventually does manage to sell some of his art work to a rich middle-aged woman who is interested in more than just his art, but she pays with a check. As the film progresses, he wanders the streets of New York, looking for Beatrice. He happens upon a bag lady (Debbie Harry) who turns into a princess when he kisses her. As a reward, she gives him a stack of cash. Abandoned in the mid-'80s due to financial problems, producer Maripol Fauque rediscovered the film and cleaned it up in 1999. It was screened at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/30/2015
UPC:
0741360538160
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Music Box Films
Time:
1:12:00
Sales rank:
24,737

Special Features

New expanded photo gallery featuring photos by Maripol Commentary by Maripol and Glen O'Brien Interview with Fab Five Freddy Rare extras

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean-Michel Basquiat Jean
Anna Schroeder Beatrice
Marshall Chess Actor
Danny Rosen Actor
Walter Steding Actor
Lisa Rosen Actor
Plastics Actor
Steve Mass Actor
Saul Williams Actor
Deborah Harry Actor
Kid Creole & the Coconuts Actor
Tuxedomoon Actor
Fab Five Freddy Actor

Technical Credits
Edo Bertoglio Director
Pamela French Editor
John Lurie Score Composer
Maripol Art Director,Producer
Robert Mayer Sound/Sound Designer
John McNulty Cinematographer
Patrick Montgomery Co-producer
Glenn O'Brien Co-producer,Screenwriter
Michael Zilkha Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Downtown 81 - Feature Film
1. Opening Credits [1:20]
2. Hospital / Freedom [5:21]
3. Beatrice / Downtown [2:09]
4. Eviction / War Zone [4:13]
5. Social Club Rap [2:05]
6. Tuxedo Moon / Bus Stop [4:37]
7. Strip Club / Drawing [6:36]
8. Mrs. Cavalcanti [3:03]
9. Stolen Equipment [8:51]
10. Plastics / Fashion [5:05]
11. Kid Creole & Coati Mundi [7:46]
12. James White And The Blacks [5:05]
13. Walter Steading / Mudd Club [4:24]
14. Kiss / Wish / Drive [6:33]
15. End Credits [3:42]
Disc #2 -- Downtown 81 - Bonus Material
1. Chapter 1 [5:15]
2. Chapter 2 [5:55]
3. Chapter 3 [6:49]
4. Chapter 4 [6:43]
5. Chapter 5 [8:43]
6. Chapter 6 [:03]
1. Chapter 1 [6:10]
2. Chapter 2 [6:05]
3. Chapter 3 [5:46]
4. Chapter 4 [6:08]
1. Chapter 1 [5:03]
2. Chapter 2 [7:40]
3. Chapter 3 [8:07]
4. Chapter 4 [6:20]
5. Chapter 5 [:02]

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Downtown 81 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DanelleAugustin More than 1 year ago
Downtown 81' In this magical feature film, artist extraordinaire Jean-Michel Basquiat is in full form, nineteen and almost ready to hear those post-graffiti fan screams. In one day, we see him leave a hospital having suffered some mysterious illness, get evicted from his run down East Village apartment, try to sell a painting, get paid for it by check, have his band's equipment stolen, chase down a beautiful model he had met, and live life to the fullest. For the artistically inclined, it is a wondrous sight to see Basquiat graffiti writing his poetic revelations on decrepit walls and in books. Little vignettes abound when Basquiat, bright eyed and bushy tailed, runs into his artist friends including Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, and Debby Harry (of Blondie). The film is interspersed with performances by new wave artists including: Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The Plastics, James White and the Blacks, DNA, etc, punctuated with scenes of the rhythms and rap of hip hop. To say this film technically looks a little low budget would be an understatement. But that is where its charm lies. The simple hand held nature of the camera coincides with the innocence and exuberance of these artists before they are swept away into the artistic halls of stardom. Downtown 81 offers a fictionalized version of a day in the life of the young Jean-Michel, a day that included drawing, creating, laughing, and dancing. Although he died only seven years later, in this film, we are reminded of the pleasure he took with his friends in providing us the masterpieces he has left behind. -Danelle Augustin