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Downtown 81


Photo courtesy Zeitgeist Films

Downtown 81
Edo Bertoglio, 1981/2000

Rereleased Classics

Many classic films are just as powerful today as when they were first released. We add such films from many genres to our schedule throughout the season. Many are shown on the occasion of their rereleases, in fresh, new or restored prints.

Fri, Mar 29, 2002 7 PM
Sat, Mar 30, 2002 7 PM

"An extraordinary real-life snapshot of hip, arty, clubland Manhattan in the post-punk era."--Variety

"Basquiat is a joy to watch! He floats thought the movie with cool grace and unflagging energy, heÌs a natural in front of the lens."--Artforum

Downtown 81 stars the legendary New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Although a central figure within the Downtown music and art scenes of 1981, the charismatic 19-year-old painter, graffiti artist, poet, and musician had yet to have his first exhibition. And although it's not a documentary, the film captures that potential and presents a romantic, magical version of the moment.

Only completed in 2000, when missing materials were gathered and postproduced, Downtown 81 has emerged as a uniquely evocative time capsule of a long-gone scene. Featuring Deborah Harry, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and DNA, with additional music from Melle Mel, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Suicide, Vincent Gallo, and Basquiat's own band, Gray. (72 mins.)

Ballet Boys

Enjoy 25% off purchases and complimentary gift-wrapping in the Wexner Center Store, a free film screening, an exclusive gallery tour, and more during Member Appreciation Days, coming up December 3–6.

Temporary closure

Wexner Center for the Arts

Due to an ongoing investigation, the Wexner Center will be closed to the public on Monday. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will update this space and our Facebook page as new information is released.