Downtown 81

This fanciful urban fairytale is an essential time capsule of post-punk club land in Lower East Side Manhattan in the early 1980s. The not yet famous artist Jean-Michel Basquiat stars, along with such hipsters as John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Vincent Gallo, Deborah Harry, and rap legend Melle Mel, as he makes his way in a scene exploding with new wave music, new painting, hip-hop, and graffiti. Among the leading bands of the era captured onscreen are Kid Creole and the Coconuts, James White and the Blacks, DNA, Tuxedo Moon, The Plastics, Walter Steding and the Dragon People, Suicide, and Basquiat’s own band, Gray.

Appears in: On Art and Artists

Genres: Drama