New York Beat Movie (Downtown 81)
New York Beat Movie (Downtown 81) (2001)

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… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 27, 2002
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
73%
Flixster
User Score
73%



Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News

A fascinating if fragmented, dreamlike look at the downtown art-music-fashion scene of a yeasty, creative era.

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John Petrakis
Chicago Tribune

Gives us a glimpse of the city as it was, suggesting that there was something revolutionary, even inspiring, about those days of not-so yore.

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Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve

Although Basquiat is effortlessly charismatic, he isn't given much to do; the film leans heavily on narration, much of which crosses the line separating poetic from pretentious.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

A crudely poetic inventory of the people and places about to rock pop culture.

Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz

It captures the youthful excitement of a burgeoning creative movement.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Invaluable because it catches the sights, sounds and moods of a city that are of a bygone era.

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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle

Performances by DNA and the Plastics alone are worth the price of admission.

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Dave Kehr
New York Times

It's as a documentary that Downtown 81 is most successful.

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Wilson Morales
BlackFilm.com

It's not a great film, but rather disjointed as nothing really makes sense. But considering this is the only glimpse one would ever see of Basquiat before he was discovered by Andy Warhol, this film is somewhat of a masterpiece.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Edward Stymest
"Downtown 81" wants to be transcendent and wants to the cognoscenti on art and culture. I'm not sure if it achieves just that (it probably… More