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Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

by Tamra Davis
USA, 2010, 90′
Presented at Lo Schermo dell’Arte 2010 – Italian premiere in the presence of the director
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tamra Davis, David Koh, Harry Geller
ANIMATION: Shepard Fairey & STUDIO NO. 1 / OBEY
EDITING: Alexis Manya Spraic
MUSIC: J. Ralph, Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond
PRODUCERS: Tamra Davis, David Koh, Lilly Bright, Stanley Buchthal, Alexis Manya Spraic
PRODUCTION: Arthouse Films, Curiously Bright Entertainment, LM Media GmbH e Fortissimo Films
DISTRIBUTION: Arthouse Films
In the summer of 1986, Tamra Davis conducted a lengthy video interview with her friend Jean-Michel Basquiat (Brooklyn, 1960-New York, 1988), who was 25 years old and at the height of his career. After over 20 years since that encounter, and the artist’s death, the American director began a long project using the footage, selecting segments for an initial documentary, made in 2006, A Conversation with Jean-Michel Basquiat. The new film, taken from the same material, starts with the artist’s own words and thoughts: an intimate portrait, and at the same time an homage to the man who shared a city, friends and, above all, a passion for art and cinema with the director. Enriched by many statements from friends, fellow-artists and gallerists gathered by the director during her work on the project (including Julian Schnabel, Annina Nosei and Bruno Bischofberger), The Radiant Child reconstructs the cultural climate of New York in the 70s and 80s, in which the Basquiat “phenomenon” occurred, and tells the story, set to rhythms provided by J. Ralph and Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond, of the work and life of the most important artist of his generation.
Tamra Davis Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Tamra Davis has worked in music, cinema and television. She has directed popular videos for bands such as Hanson, Sonic Youth N.W.A. Since the early 90s she has directed many films, including Gun Crazy, with Drew Barrymore, Half-Baked, with David Chapelle and Crossroads, with Britney Spears. She has also directed episodes for popular TV shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty. Her first art documentary, A Conversation with Jean-Michel Basquiat (2006), was presented at the Sundance Film Festival and at the 2nd edition of Lo schermo dell’arte. Recently, she has produced an internet series titled the Tamra Davis Cooking
Selected Filmography
1992 Guncrazy; 1995 Billy Madison; 1993 CB4; 1998 Half Baked; 2001-2002 Crossroads; 2006 A Conversation with Jean-Michel Basquiat; 2010 Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.