BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat will get theatrical release next year
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American distribution rights to a new documentary on late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, the company announced Thursday.
Sara Driver directed BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenager Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September. It will screen this Sunday and again next week at the New York Film Festival, in the city where Basquiat rose to fame. The documentary, however, examines Basquiat life before he became an art star, drawing on the memories of friends including filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Driver's life partner), actor/rapper Fab 5 Freddy (aka Frederick Brathwaite) and others.
This is a wildly entertaining film that gets all the details right.
The film is not only a portrait of the artist as a young man, but of New York more than three decades ago, Magnolia said in a press release.
"The definition of fame, success and power were very different than today - to be a penniless but published poet was the height of success, until everything changed in the early 1980's. This is New York City's story before that change," Magnolia stated.
“Sara has crafted an essential portrait of a boundary-pushing artist at the peak of his creativity,” Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, said. “This is a wildly entertaining film that gets all the details right.”
In May an untitled Basquiat painting of a skull sold at auction for just over $110 million, a record for a work by an American artist made after 1980.
Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at age 27.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.