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

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Boom for Real follows Jean-Michel Basquiat’s pre-fame life and how New York City—the times, the people, and the movements surrounding him— formed the artist he became. Using unpublished works, writings, and photographs, director Sara Driver—who was part of the same New York arts scene herself—tells his story by drawing upon the memories of friends and other artists who emerged from that period: Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab Five Freddy, Glenn O’Brien, Lee Quinones, Patricia Field, Luc Sante, and many others. With archival film footage, music, and images, she visually recreates the era and a portrait of Basquiat and downtown New York City when the definitions of fame and success were very different than today—to be a penniless, but published poet was the height of success.

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