Downtown 81

2000

Comedy / Drama / Musical

4
IMDb Rating 7 10 1316

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 25, 2021 at 10:47 AM

Director

Cast

Anne Carlisle as Fashion Show Model
John Lurie as Self
Deborah Harry as Fairy Godmother
Eszter Balint as Fashion Show Model
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
654.07 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 11 min
P/S 7 / 35
1.31 GB
1904*1072
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 11 min
P/S 16 / 43

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 7 / 10

a funky experiment that has its peaks and valleys, more the former than latter

New York Beat Movie, or Downtown 81, is one of those unclassifiable oddball movies that just comes out from the underground but makes a little too much sense to be grouped in the classic underground movie definition like Andy Warhol. This is more akin to the Jim Jarmusch film Permanent Vacation where we follow a character- in this case a not-so-thinly-disguised version of Jean-Michel Basquiat- as he walks around the lower east side circa 1980, and gets into some mishaps and mini-adventures, usually with a musical beat. It's not entirely fiction, not entirely documentary, not entirely concert. It's more like a punk-new-wave fever dream with Debby Harry as a guardian angel and some bands that will be obscure except for the buffs of the music era (save for a couple of exceptions).

If there is any story, it's very light. It's like we're getting a view into how Basquiat goes about his day and night, and has to contend with getting kicked out of his apartment, his band equipment being ripped off (by just ONE guy!), and as he tries to track down a woman who he thinks is out of this world who says she'll take care of him for life. Fat chance. It's like a kind of travelogue through the dirt and grime, the beat boxes and graffiti artists, the weird WTF bands like DNA (it's not "good" music, but it is interesting in an avant-garde doing-what-we-like way like lesser Television), and some of the bigger bands like Kid Creole and James and the Blacks. It's a trip, man.

Some of the set-backs to the film are technical, and not entirely the fault of the filmmakers. Considering much of the film was thought lost until it was edited back together in 1999, it does flow well. It's the soundtrack that is very hit or miss. Saul Williams does a decent job conveying the quiet, thoughtful but forceful spirit of Jean-Michel, particularly in the semi-poetic narration, but the other voice-work is spotty and unconvincing. Only the music selections help carry through the flaws, such as that reggae song as Basquiat walks around at night, or when he wanders into a small studio and dances to 'Rapture'. It definitely has moments where you'll bop your head and tap your feet, and some of the art work and "Samo"'s graffiti is captivating.

It's less than great, but maybe that was the idea to start. It's more about getting the time and place, the mood of an artist or a musician out on the fringes and just getting by, than telling a story. That should be fine for the audience it's intended. Others proceed with some caution.

Reviewed by loganx-2 4 / 10

Bad narrative film...Great Performance Film

Has some really good music and performances; Kid Creole and the Coconuts, James White and the Blacks, DNA, Tuxedo Moon, the Plastics, Melle Mel, Vincent Gallo, Lydia Lunch...etc, but aside from this there isn't much more to it. The dialog, especially the narration(by Saul Williams), is actually pretty good, but the performances are all pretty bland or outright bad, no matter how many hipsters are thrown in; Debbie Harry and Jean Micheal Basquit(the latter being the leading role) both still don't have enough cultural cred to keep this film from being a novelty item. It goes for the a Jack Kerouac style roving spontaneity, but doesn't have the insight to keep it moving along, which is where the band performances come in. I guess its pretty balanced in that regard between great music and bad acting, and I did enjoy it, but I just expected more. Though it does have a fairy tale ending.

Reviewed by druid333-2 8 / 10

Art Trance (I've Got A Boo Boo/Broken Record)

For anybody born after 1990 that ever wondered what the 1980's was all about,this film may (or may not)answer a few questions. Jean Michelle Basquiat stars as himself,in a "day in the life" of a graffiti artist who is trying to raise some money to pay his rent. Along the way, he meets up with one interesting character after another. This film also features performances by some of the era's proto punk/New Wave/No Wave/Hip Hop/etc. musical acts (including out of towner's,Tuxedomoon,in what looks like a very hip music video that MTV would never even consider airing). This started out as 'Glenn O'Brien's New York Beat Movie'(O'Brien co-wrote the screenplay),but was shelved,due to a lack of finances before it was finished filming. The film was directed by Edo Bertoglio, has only directed one other film ('Face Addict'),like 'Beat Movie',dealt with the New York uptown/downtown art scene . The fact that over the years,the soundtrack became lost to time only made matters worse. In the late 1990's,however, the original 16mm negative was found (sans soundtrack),a new soundtrack was made up (using a brand new soundtrack,including a replacement voice over dub for Basquiat,who, had died in 1988),and the film was finally given a limited "art house" release in 2000,under the new title,'Downtown 81'. Not the best film depicting the 1980's,but certainly not the worst. Not rated,but contains some rude language.

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