film re­view

NOW Magazine - - MOVIES -

Boom for real: The laTe TeeNage Years of JeaN-michel BasquiaT (Sara Driver) pur­ports to be about the late artist, but re­ally it’s more about the late 70s art and mu­sic scenes he hung out in be­fore be­com­ing fa­mous in the 80s. Di­rec­tor Driver, part of New York City’s in­die film scene at the time, makes the most of her art-world con­nec­tions, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween sen­ti­men­tal talk­ing heads and archival footage/pho­tos to show how Basquiat’s work bridged the nascent hip-hop scene up­town and ni­hilis­tic down­town art kids. We barely hear Basquiat’s voice, and Driver doesn’t es­tab­lish a the­sis up front so the film feels aim­less as it spends an in­or­di­nate amount of time go­ing deep into top­ics that have been thor­oughly cov­ered in other, more sem­i­nal, docs: Warhol’s Fac­tory, the ad­vent of graf­fiti, the birth of hip-hop, the rise of post-punk. When Basquiat’s ca­reer “blasts off” at the end, Driver gallingly cuts to a rocket tak­ing off. Given she was there, Boom For Real is weirdly im­per­sonal. It’s as generic a doc as they come. 79 min. NNN (Kevin Ritchie)

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s voice is strangely miss­ing from Boom For Real.

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