Courtesy of Metrograph Pictures

New Release
Downtown 81

Part of Downtown 81
Friday, December 6, 2019, 5:00 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image - Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Edo Bertoglio. 1981. 72 mins. 35mm. With Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, John Lurie, Fab 5 Freddie, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Tuxedomoon, The Plastics, Debbie Mazar, Cookie Mueller, Lee Quinones. In 1981, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O’Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a graffiti innovator and noise music artist who’d just begun to exhibit his paintings, hit the streets of lower Manhattan to make a movie about the bombed out bohemia that they knew. Left incomplete due to money problems and assembled for release in 2000, Downtown 81, which follows Basquiat trying to move a painting while hustling for a place to sleep, became a window on a lost world of life on the margins and crazy creative ferment. Featuring John Lurie, Fab Five Freddy, and Debbie Harry, with musical performances by DNA, James White and the Blacks, and Kid Creole and the Coconuts—and Manhattan in all its mangy glory.

Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth ages 3–17 / Free or discounted ($7) for Museum members). Order tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] with any questions about benefits and making online reservations.) 

*This one New Release screening is free for Museum members at the MoMI Individual and Student/Senior levels and above. Please note tickets for other screenings of Downtown 81 are available to members at the discounted rate of $7. 

View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.