Graffiti Bridge (1990)

PG-13 | 91 mins | Musical | 2 November 1990

Director:

Prince

Writer:

Prince

Cinematographer:

Bill Butler

Production Designer:

Vance Lorenzini

Production Company:

Graffiti Bridge Productions
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HISTORY

Graffiti Bridge is a sequel to Prince’s Purple Rain (1984, see entry) and continues with several of that film’s characters, including Prince’s “The Kid” and Morris Day’s “Morris Day.” The 6 Aug 1989 LAT reported that Prince was preparing two films, Graffiti Bridge and The Robert Johnson Story, in which he would star and Albert Magnoli, who directed Purple Rain, would direct. However, Prince spent the latter part of 1989 working on the soundtrack for Batman (1989, see entry). He did not begin production on Graffiti Bridge until early 1990, and directed the film himself. The Robert Johnson project, in which Prince planned to portray the 1930s Mississippi Delta blues legend, never came to fruition.
       The 15 Feb 1990 Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that actress Kim Basinger left the project when she ended her romantic relationship with Prince. Her departure prompted speculation that Warner Bros. was pulling the plug on Graffiti Bridge, but the company, which also distributed Prince’s recordings, aggressively countered those rumors in order not to antagonize the artist, the 6 Mar 1990 USA Today suggested. Prince asked Paula Abdul to design the film’s dance numbers, but she left the project to choreograph that year’s Academy Awards show, the 23 Feb 1990 Star Tribune of Minneapolis, MN, reported.
       According to several sources, including the 28 Mar 1990 Star Tribune and the 30 Mar 1990 DV, Graffiti Bridge was filmed at Prince’s Paisley Park Studio in Chanhassen, MN, and a warehouse in New Hope, MN. Both ... More Less

Graffiti Bridge is a sequel to Prince’s Purple Rain (1984, see entry) and continues with several of that film’s characters, including Prince’s “The Kid” and Morris Day’s “Morris Day.” The 6 Aug 1989 LAT reported that Prince was preparing two films, Graffiti Bridge and The Robert Johnson Story, in which he would star and Albert Magnoli, who directed Purple Rain, would direct. However, Prince spent the latter part of 1989 working on the soundtrack for Batman (1989, see entry). He did not begin production on Graffiti Bridge until early 1990, and directed the film himself. The Robert Johnson project, in which Prince planned to portray the 1930s Mississippi Delta blues legend, never came to fruition.
       The 15 Feb 1990 Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that actress Kim Basinger left the project when she ended her romantic relationship with Prince. Her departure prompted speculation that Warner Bros. was pulling the plug on Graffiti Bridge, but the company, which also distributed Prince’s recordings, aggressively countered those rumors in order not to antagonize the artist, the 6 Mar 1990 USA Today suggested. Prince asked Paula Abdul to design the film’s dance numbers, but she left the project to choreograph that year’s Academy Awards show, the 23 Feb 1990 Star Tribune of Minneapolis, MN, reported.
       According to several sources, including the 28 Mar 1990 Star Tribune and the 30 Mar 1990 DV, Graffiti Bridge was filmed at Prince’s Paisley Park Studio in Chanhassen, MN, and a warehouse in New Hope, MN. Both are suburbs of Minneapolis. Principal photography began 15 Feb 1990 and ended 28 Mar 1990.
       With the exception of singer Tevin Campbell, the musical acts in Graffiti Bridge recorded for Prince’s record label, Paisley Park, the 28 Mar 1990 Star Tribune noted.
       The real “Graffiti Bridge” was a railroad bridge in Eden Prairie, MN, east of Chanhassen, that for decades had been a meeting place for young people to paint “their loves, their musical tastes, their politics and their athletic triumphs” on the structure, with tacit approval of authorities, the 20 Feb 1990 Star Tribune reported. Despite residents’ efforts to declare the bridge a “cultural landmark,” the bridge was torn down in 1991.
       The 11 Jul 1990 Var reported that the film’s projected Aug 1990 release was postponed because Prince was “heavily involved in post-production.” The 12 Nov 1990 Var estimated the production’s cost at $7.5 million.
       The 5 Nov 1990 HR review stated that Warner Bros. did not screen Graffiti Bridge for the press before release, and various sources, including the 6 Nov and 7 Nov 1990 editions of DV, indicated that box office was “slack.”
       A member of The Time is listed as “Jellybean Johnson” in opening credits and “Jellybean” in end credits. End credits list the following acknowledgments: “Thanks to the following for their support: Cellular One, Edina, MN; Elements c/o Suzanne, Minneapolis, MN; User Computers, Minneapolis, MN; Imprints, Inc., Minneapolis, MN; The New Contemporary Designs, Minneapolis, MN; Sodergren & Assoc., Bloomington, MN; Bausch and Lomb Sunglass Division; Rochester, NY; [illegible], Edina, MN; Special Effects Limited, Hollywood, CA; [illegible] Films, W. Hollywood, CA.” End credits also contain the following information: “Filmed at Paisley Park Studio. Special thanks 2 the City of Chanhassen, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Film Board and U.” Final note: “May U live 2 see the dawn.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Mar 1990.
p. 2
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1990
p. 1
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1990
p. 21
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1990
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1990
p. 5, 33
Long Beach Press-Telegram
15 Feb 1990
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Aug 1989
Calendar, p. 66
Los Angeles Times
5 Nov 1990
Section F, p. 10
New York Times
3 Nov 1990
p. 13
Newsweek
24 Dec 1990.
---
Rolling Stone
22 Mar 1990.
---
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
18 Jun 1989
Entertainment, p. 1
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
15 Feb 1990
Variety, p. 1
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
20 Feb 1990
News, p. 1
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
23 Feb 1990
Variety, p. 1
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)
28 Mar 1990
Variety, p. 1
USA Today
6 Mar 1990
Life, p. 2
Variety
11 Jul 1990.
Variety
12 Nov 1990
p. 64
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Introducing
as Aura
And Introducing
as Tevin
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
A Paisley Park Film
Distributed by Warner Bros.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Theatrical lighting des
Theatrical lighting op
Veri light tech
Veri light tech
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst prod des
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
L.A. asst ed
L.A. asst ed
L.A. asst ed
L.A. asst ed
L.A. asst ed
Post prod coord
Minneapolis asst ed
Minneapolis asst ed
Minneapolis asst ed
Supv video ed
Video tape ed
Video tape ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Asst set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Lead man
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Asst 2 Helen Hiatt
Jill Jones ward by
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus score mixing
Comp
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Sd mixer
Boom op
Playback
Set live cable
Set live cable
Sd eng
Mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Main title des
Titles & opticals
DANCE
Choreog
Addl choreog
Asst 2 choreog
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up asst
Hair for Morris Day
Hair extensions
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Scr supv
Asst scr supv
Light, sound & des tech
Light, sound & des tech
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod aide
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Admin asst PRN
Asst 2 Mr. Macdonald
Asst 2 Mr. Rice
Loc mgr
Addl casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Chief tech eng
Asst tech
Band crew chief tech
Drum tech
Guitar, bass tech
Asst tech
Keyboard tech
Intern tech
First aid
Catering
Catering
Craft services
Craft services
Pub relations
Unit pub
Dog trainer
Art murals by
Head security
Security
Security
Security
Transportation
Transportation
Transportation
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stand in/Aura
Stand in/Prince
Stand in/Morris Day
Motorcycle stunt double
Motorcycle stunt double
Stunt double/Clinton's guard
Stunt double/Aura
SOURCES
SONGS
All songs written by Prince except where indicated: “Seven Corners,” performed by Ingrid Chavez, composed by Prince with Ingrid Chavez and Levi Seacer, Jr. ©1990 Controversy Music/Dirgni Music/Michael Anthony Music
“New Power Generation,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Release It,” written by Prince with Levi Seacer, Jr., performed by The Time, ©1990 Controversy Music/Michael Anthony Music/Yo D Sir Music
+
SONGS
All songs written by Prince except where indicated: “Seven Corners,” performed by Ingrid Chavez, composed by Prince with Ingrid Chavez and Levi Seacer, Jr. ©1990 Controversy Music/Dirgni Music/Michael Anthony Music
“New Power Generation,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Release It,” written by Prince with Levi Seacer, Jr., performed by The Time, ©1990 Controversy Music/Michael Anthony Music/Yo D Sir Music
“The Question Of You,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Elephants And Flowers,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Round ‘N’ Round,” performed by Tevin Campbell, ©1990 Controversy Music
“We Can Funk,” written and performed by Prince with George Clinton, ©1990 Controversy Music/Existential Music/Warner-Tamerlane Pub. Corp.
“Joy In Repetition,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Love Machine,” written by Prince with Levi Seacer, Jr. with Morris Day, performed by The Time, ©1990 Controversy Music/Michael Anthony Music/Yo D Sir Music
“Tick, Tick, Bang,” performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Shake!” performed by The Time, ©1990 Yo D Sir Music/Controversy Music
“The Latest Fashion,” performed by The Time, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Melody Cool,” performed by Mavis Staples, ©1990 Controversy Music
"Number 1," performed by Robin Power, ©1990 Controversy Music
"Thieves In The Temple," performed by Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Blondie,” written by Jessie Johnson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, performed by The Time, ©1990 Crazy People Music/Flyte Time Tunes, Inc.
“Jerk Out,” written and performed by The Time, ©1990 Tionna Music Corp.
“Still Would Stand All Time,” performed by Prince with The Steeles, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Graffiti Bridge,” performed by Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell, The Steeles and Prince, ©1990 Controversy Music
“Danse Sacrée Et Danse Profane,” written by Claude Debussy, master courtesy of Virgin Classics, Ltd.
“Voyage Au ‘Pays Du Tendre’,” written by Gabriel Pierne, published by Editions Musicals Alphonse Ledut, master courtesy of Virgin Classics, Ltd.
“Introduction And Allegro,” written by Maurice Ravel, published by Theodore Presser Co. o/b/o Durand & Cie., master courtesy of Virgin Classics, Ltd.
“Duelin' Banjos,” written by Arthur Smith, published by Combine Music Corp., performed by Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Nightmares,” written by Wayne Coster and Richard Whitfield, published by Law Les Music.
+
PERFORMERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 November 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 November 1990
New York opening: week of 3 November 1990
Production Date:
15 February--28 March 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 December 1990
Copyright Number:
PA499403
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“The Kid,” a young African-American musician, awakens in his bunker beneath his nightclub, the “Glam Slam,” and sees the image of Aura, an angel, who tells him, “It’s just around the corner.” Across the street, in the back room of the “Pandemonium Club,” Morris Day, complains to his musicians, collectively known as “The Time,” that he owns a controlling interest in all the nightclubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s “Seven Corners” neighborhood except for the Glam Slam. If he can take over the Kid’s club, he will control the neighborhood. At the Glam Slam, the Kid’s girl friend, Jill, announces she is leaving him because Morris Day has offered better waitress pay at the Pandemonium. The Kid hears a blast, and when he climbs out of his bunker, part of Glam Slam is in flames. However, the Kid fixes up the club in time for his performance that evening. Morris arrives at the Glam Slam in his limousine and asks Jerome, his factotum, why the club is still standing. Jerome guesses he should have used more explosives. Morris goes inside with his entourage, stops the show, and challenges the Kid in front of the crowd. Since Morris and the Kid each own fifty percent of the club, Morris claims that his half of the proceeds are suffering because the Kid’s “spiritual” music is not bringing in enough people. Aura, the angel, stands in the crowd, distressed by the rivalry between the two young men. Morris Day and The Time take the stage and perform, and when they finish, he tells the Kid he wants his fifty percent of the proceeds now or total ownership of the club. When Morris and his ... +


“The Kid,” a young African-American musician, awakens in his bunker beneath his nightclub, the “Glam Slam,” and sees the image of Aura, an angel, who tells him, “It’s just around the corner.” Across the street, in the back room of the “Pandemonium Club,” Morris Day, complains to his musicians, collectively known as “The Time,” that he owns a controlling interest in all the nightclubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s “Seven Corners” neighborhood except for the Glam Slam. If he can take over the Kid’s club, he will control the neighborhood. At the Glam Slam, the Kid’s girl friend, Jill, announces she is leaving him because Morris Day has offered better waitress pay at the Pandemonium. The Kid hears a blast, and when he climbs out of his bunker, part of Glam Slam is in flames. However, the Kid fixes up the club in time for his performance that evening. Morris arrives at the Glam Slam in his limousine and asks Jerome, his factotum, why the club is still standing. Jerome guesses he should have used more explosives. Morris goes inside with his entourage, stops the show, and challenges the Kid in front of the crowd. Since Morris and the Kid each own fifty percent of the club, Morris claims that his half of the proceeds are suffering because the Kid’s “spiritual” music is not bringing in enough people. Aura, the angel, stands in the crowd, distressed by the rivalry between the two young men. Morris Day and The Time take the stage and perform, and when they finish, he tells the Kid he wants his fifty percent of the proceeds now or total ownership of the club. When Morris and his group leave the Glam Slam, most of the dancers follow them to the Pandemonium. The Kid rides his motorcycle to a park, where Aura sits, holding a white feather, under the Graffiti Bridge, a small archway. He recognizes Aura, but does not speak to her. When the Kid returns to Seven Corners, Aura is already there on the street, dressed differently, but she disappears before his eyes. Meanwhile, Robin, Morris Day’s girl friend and Pandemonium financial partner, complains that she is not making enough money. Members of his group arrive with briefcases full of money, but tell Morris that George Clinton, minority owner of nearby Clinton’s House, is “holding out.” Morris and Robin walk to the club, where George Clinton’s Funkestra, a funk band, is playing onstage. Meanwhile, the Kid and his band perform in front of a small group of dancers at the Glam Slam. Aura enters and talks with a young rapper named T. C., who complains that The Kid refuses to give him his “big break.” Aura returns to Graffiti Bridge to write and recite poetry. In his bunker, the Kid writes an imaginary letter to his deceased father, confessing that he has met a beautiful woman who is trying to tell him something. When the Kid walks out on the street, Tevin, the son of “Melody Cool” club owner Melody Cool, and his group sing and perform a dance routine. A gathering crowd throws money at them. The Kid sees his ex-lover, Jill, but she has no time for him as she walks into Morris Day’s club. Meanwhile, Jerome drives Morris to Graffiti Bridge. Hoping to make Aura his “number three” girl, Morris invites her to his club. That evening, he takes her to the Seven Corners in his limousine and sets a special table at the Pandemonium. Morris also lets Jill sing with his band, knowing the news will get back to the Kid and irritate him. As Jill sings “Love Machine” on stage, Aura sings the song personally to Morris. When, Jerome and Morris take Aura for a champagne ride in the limousine, the Kid follows on his motorcycle. By the time Jerome and Morris return with Aura to Morris’s apartment at the Pandemonium, she is tipsy and falls asleep. Morris plans to be with her when she wakes up, because he believes she will fall in love with the first face she sees. However, the Kid sneaks in, blows out the candle that illuminates the room, and carries Aura back to his bunker at the Glam Slam. In the Kid’s imagination, he and Aura embrace and kiss on a rainy street, as an electric sign broadcasts the message: “It’s just around the corner.” Aura runs into the night, leaving behind a pink paper heart with a poem: “It’s just around the corner….A love that reaffirms that U are not alone.” The Kid awakens in the morning to find Aura lying next to him. She informs him that she belongs to someone up above and will not be with him long, so it would be a mistake for him to get too close to her. They make love, and the Kid takes her back to Graffiti Bridge. Later, at the Pandemonium, the Kid challenges Morris Day to a battle of the bands. He promises that Morris can take control of the Glam Slam if The Time bests his band, but if not, the Kid gets it all. Later, The Time members break into the Glam Slam, destroy the Kid’s band equipment, and paint “What Time Is It” on a brick wall where the Kid writes his graffiti poetry. That night, as Morris Day and The Time perform at the Pandemonium, Aura tells Jerome she believes Morris is good “deep down” beneath his crass materialism, and she is certain she can make him stop, but Jerome laughs at her. The Kid and his band perform outside in the street, but the crowd prefers Morris. Aura asks herself what she can do to help, and determines to do whatever she has to do to bring the Kid and Morris together. Dejected, the Kid tosses his guitar through a window and takes Aura back to Graffiti Bridge on his motorcycle. She tells him never to give up, because he has to win. Elsewhere, The Time goes to the other club owners, George Clinton and Melody Cool, and strong-arms them into signing over their minority partnerships to Morris Day. Clinton’s bouncer breaks away from the thugs, gets in his Jeep, and drives away. He accidentally hits Aura, killing her. An ambulance arrives and takes her away. The Kid gets his gun and contemplates shooting himself, but Aura’s spirit tells him to believe in his musical message and never give up. In an act of defiance, the Kid throws a can of paint on The Time’s wall graffiti. He stands outside Morris Day’s club and sings to him about love and spirituality. One of Aura’s white feathers rises in the air. As everyone joins in solidarity with the Kid, he and Morris Day shake hands and embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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