Best Movies by Farr
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child Poster
Released Runtime Category
2010 88 Documentary
Director Language
Tamra Davis English
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Jeffrey Deitch, Larry Gagosian

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

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What's it About

In New York’s dangerously exciting art scene of the 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat, iconoclastic graffiti artist and painter, emerged (seemingly out of nowhere) as a major force. His life was also touched by sadness and tragedy: even as one of America’s first highly successful black artists, a subtle undercurrent of racism caused many in the arts establishment to dismiss his work. A rootless early life and sudden fame also conspired to make him vulnerable to heroin addiction. This vivid documentary explores Basquiat’s all-too-short life and work, including interviews with the artist’s friends and colleagues, including Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, and many others.

Why we love it

Director Tamra Davis was Basquiat’s close friend, and while her film examines his life as a public figure — taking into account varying opinions on the man and his legacy — it is always through the loving, largely sympathetic lens of her personal relationship with him. Featuring revealing shots of some of Basquiat’s finest work, the art speaks eloquently (and wordlessly) for itself. In all, this raw, affecting tribute sheds fascinating light on its doomed and brilliant subject. A must for art lovers everywhere.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"