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Downtown 81 (2000)

Cast: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anna Schroeder, Marshall Chess, more...
Director: Edo Bertoglio, Glenn O'Brien
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Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Running Time: 72 min.
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Synopsis
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. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

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GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.55)
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2000
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
I Can Hear the Guitar: Olivier Assayas Presents
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A new BAM series programmed by Assayas. Can't make it to New York? Rent the DVDs...
tboot

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