Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

"'Boom for Real' paints a stirring picture of a young artist on his way to the top." - Detroit News

An Art, Design, & Architecture 2018 screening.

Co-presented by Open Sesame

“Boom for real” was a favourite phrase of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The late artist, musician, poet and DJ applied it to anything he was enthusiastic about, which makes it an apt title for a documentary about the streets, artists and haunts of late 1970s New York that shaped his artistic practice.

“The scene in director Sara Driver’s film is set through archival footage of a desolate, wrecking-ball-ready Lower East Side and the voice of former U.S. president Gerald Ford, who warns that he will deny New York City assistance in its dire financial situation. With occupancy hovering around 30 per cent, Lower Manhattan is empty, quiet and dangerous – a perfect environment for artists. The intensely curious Basquiat’s multifaceted artistic “investigations,” as one friend calls them, are inseparable from this era and milieu.

“Boom for Real ends when Basquiat sells one of his first paintings and his career as an artist begins. It’s visualized with stock footage of a rocket launch. And that’s the essence of this film: A launch viewed from the perspective of those left below on Earth, none of them begrudging it, just left in a wake of bittersweet awe.” - The Globe and Mail


No screenings currently scheduled.

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