Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Audiences seeking an in-depth look at a certain member of the 27 Club may be a little thrown by Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Clocking in at just under 80 minutes, Sara Driver’s lively documentary is almost more about the scene from which the famed artist sprung than the man himself, yet treats him as the shining star to emerge from its ranks.
Compelling interviews with such figures as filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy and graffiti artist Lee Quinonas reconstruct the late ‘70s/early ‘80s New York City in which they interacted, while copious archival clips and a heavy dose of footage from the 1983 hip-hop culture film Wild Style thoroughly illustrate their memories.
True to its title, the film employs an extremely narrow focus and barely anything is revealed about Basquiat’s life up to that point (or after), but viewed as the potential first chapter in a multi-installment series about him, Boom for Real works as a tasty appetizer.
Grade: B. Not rated, but with adult language and themes. Now playing at Grail Moviehouse
(Photo Credit: © Alexis Adler. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)