Basquiat chronicles the remarkable rise of young graffiti writer/artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who went from a homeless teenager on the streets of New York to one of the world's most celebrated painters in about 20 minutes (or is it 15?). There's not much insight into the man or the artist here, but the film's atmospheric depiction of '80s NYC as a grungy, coked-up haven of wonderful weirdoes makes for an exciting urban adventure. The cast is pretty astonishing, too; Jeffrey Wright is quite good as Basquiat, becoming more neurotic and withdrawn as he takes the New York art world by storm, as is David Bowie as an aging and more than slightly befuddled Andy Warhol. Who else? You also get Gary Oldman as artist Albert Milo (a stand-in for director Julian Schnabel), Michael Wincott as art promoter Rene Ricard, Dennis Hopper as Warhol associate Bruno Bischofberger and Benicio Del Toro as Basquiat's best friend, Benny Dalmau -- even Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe show up in cameos. And, of course, what kind of '90s New York indie movie would it be without an appearance by Parker Posey? Heh-heh-hello!
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