Downtown 81

Edo Bertoglio, US, 1981/2000, 72 min.

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A time capsule of New York’s downtown art and music scenes, Downtown 81 follows Jean-Michel Basquiat playing a struggling artist as he meanders through the streets of Manhattan. Unfinished at the time of his death, the film was completed in 2000 with poet/musician Saul Williams providing Basquiat’s voiceover narration. Filled with performances by such legendary No Wave bands as DNA, James White and the Blacks, and the Plastics, the film captures an exciting moment in New York City’s history that has long since passed.