Wednesday, November 16, 2005 – 7:30 pm
USA 1996. Director: Julian Schnabel
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Benicio del Toro, Willem Dafoe, Courtney Love

In 1979, 18-year-old graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was sleeping in a cardboard box in a New York City park. Within three years, this Haitian-American child of middle-class parents was an ascendant star of the frenetic contemporary art scene ofManhattan in the 1980s. Marketed by his agent as “the true voice of the gutter”, Basquiat first gained attention as a graffiti artist whose neatly printed legends, signed SAMO, were found all over the city. As depicted here by his friend and fellow New York art world luminary Julian Schnabel (in his directorial debut), Basquiat was a natural talent plagued by loneliness, self-destruction and the belief that people did not really accept him for who he was. By 1988, at the age of 27, he was dead from an overdose of heroin. As the first black painter to really succeed in the powerful white art world, his early death shows that he was a casualty as well as a creation of a scene more concerned with hype than art. Colour, 35mm. 108 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Ramon Kubicek
writer, artist, educator. Ramon currently teaches film history as well as art and design history at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He has published short fiction, poetry, criticism, a book on art, “One Source”, and worked on film documentaries.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development,
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Cosponsored by Gallery Gachet and the Art Studios and The Ubyssey