Friday, July 30, 2010

The Radiant Child.

(Polaroid by Andy Warhol)

Genius Child

"This is a song for the genius child.
Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
Sing it softly as ever you can --
Lest the song get out of hand.

Nobody loves a genius child.

Can you love an eagle,
Tame or wild?
Can you love an eagle,
Wild or tame?
Can you love a monster
of frightening name?

Nobody loves a genius child.

Kill him -- and let his soul run wild. "
-Langston Hughes

This Langston Hughes poem begins and ends Tamara Davis' Documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, which is comprised of never seen interview footage, painting footage, and images from this genius painter. I, just as many, never quite understood Basquiat's life or personality; but this intimate portrait of his life, told by lovers and close friends, breaks down the misconceptions that created his "primitive and strange" image. He was genius, reserved, intense, passionate, needy, sad, lost, beautiful, radiant. He became a millionaire overnight, overdosed at the age of 27 (like Janis, Jim, Jimi, and Kurt), and left behind 1,000 paintings and 1,000 drawings. If you are interested in Basquiat you must see this film. If you are interested in art you must see this film. If you are interested in the history of New York City you must see this film. At the Film Forum till August 3rd!

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