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


This sprightly addition to the existing Basquiat canon, examining the lead-up to the late iconic artist’s professional recognition, is as much a microcosm of the radical New York arts scene in the 1970s and ’80s as it is of his formative experiences. Pristine archival footage is deftly arranged to reveal the early habits of an incessantly hardworking genius who took every opportunity to integrate material from his surroundings into incredible creations. During a period when he was often homeless, the affable Basquiat is lovingly remembered in interviews with friends and fellow visionaries like rapper Fab 5 Freddy, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and graffiti artist Lee Quiñones. By focusing on Basquiat’s early days in New York as part of street artist duo SAMO, musician in the noise band Gray, and partier at Mudd Club and Club 57, and on his involvement with self-made artist venues like Colab, filmmaker Sara Driver memorably shows how city and man embodied pure creative expression.  KR


Sara Driver


Rachel Dengiz, Sara Driver


Adam Kurnitz


Adam Benn

Release Year


Festival Year


Run Time

78 minutes