ArtFilm / TV

‘boom for real’ explores the life of a young basquiat

October 2, 2018
8.2K Picks

The world, it seems, can’t get enough Basquiat. Just days after an announcement that his life story was on it’s way to Broadway, the artist’s brief but historic life comes to the big and small screens via the Magnolia Pictures documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Directed by Sara Driver (Only Lovers Left Alive), Boom For Real presents a first of its kind look into the prolific artist’s life in 1970s New York, where Driver first met Basquiat. “It was always night time at that time of my life,” says Driver. “It was before the art boom, before the real estate boom. Nobody was thinking about money. We were all trying to be musicians and artists. It was a very weird zeitgeist thing, because it was this very natural art community that formed in this very burned out and dangerous part of New York City, so we were watching each other’s backs as well.”

Told through archival footage, music, and personal images, Boom for Real strips away the romanticization of late -70s/early-’80s Big Apple, in exchange for the grittiness of poverty, substance abuse, and the creative mania of that complicated era, during which a generation of breakthrough artists emerged. Some of them, including director Jim Jarmusch (Driver’s real-life partner), multi-disciplinary artist James Nares, hip-hop evangelist Fab Five Freddy, and writer Luc Sante, appear in the film in revelatory ways.

Jean-Michel Basquiat in BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo Credit: © Alexis Adler. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat is now streaming on Hulu.