Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film Paperback – January 3, 2005
|New from||Used from|
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Entertainment Weekly Dishy, teeming, superbly reported...packed with lively inside anecdotes...[a] juicy and fascinating exposé.
Frank Rich, The New York Times In Down and Dirty Pictures, Biskind takes on the movie industry of the 1990s and again gets the story....Peter Biskind captures his era as John Dunne did that of the Zanucks.
Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times Sensationally entertaining.
About the Author
Peter Biskind is the author of five previous books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine. He lives with his family in Columbia County, New York.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Using Sundance and Miramax as his focal point, Biskind explores the so-called independent film movement from the late 1980s until around 2002. I say so-called independent film because Biskind pretty well demonstrates that by the mid 1990s most of what was hyped as independent film was being driven by studio divisions dedicated to them. I have no doubt true independent film still exists, but once Miramax shifted from acquisitions to production and studios began buying up companies like Miramax, folks with their own cameras and a few friends seem less likely to get distribution agreements.
Biskind seems to have done extensive interviewing, though he acknowledges in the preface that he had access to the Weinsteins, the top men at Miramax, but had much more limited access to the folks at Sundance, including Robert Redford. As a result, the book deals more extensively with Miramax than Sundance. At times, it can become a little gossipy but those stories do a good job of demonstrating the personalities of the business and some of its harsh financial realities.
If you read this book, you will walk away with a good understanding of the economics of the business, especially in the 1990s. You will also end up with a list of movies to add to your netflix list or to pick up at blockbuster.
Of course, the book ends just before the Weinsteins split from Miramax (their baby from the start, named after their parents Miriam and Max) and started a new production company. Still, it encapsulates a moment in time where the Sundance Film Festival and Miramax exploded into the film industry and helped drive tremendous creative output that for the first time, reached an audience outside of Park City, Los Angeles, and New York.
What is good is a very detailed (perhaps too much so) look at the evolution of independent films from "Sex, Lies, & Videotapes" to the current state of independent films approaching the Hollywood route. There is no question he did exhaustive research and while he has been criticized for doing a hatchet job on Miramax and Redford, there are too many stories with the same theme for the portrait painted to not be substantially correct IMO. If you are a fan of film, whether you are a casual weekend fan of Hollywood fare or a student of serious film, there is something here for you. But generally this will be of interest if you enjoy following the business side of films and how the personalities affect this. However, the book also does a great job overlaying the careers of Steve Soderberg, Quentin Tarantino and Damon/Affleck in enough detail for the fans of "stars". The Damon/Affleck section is particularly interesting as it showed two kids viewed as actors making a conscious effort to tap into the indie craze to get their break in the business. In many respects it's like the old Stallone/Rocky story of having the screenplay and forcing Hollywood to use the author as the star.
Now for the negative. His earlier book "Easy Rider/Raging Bull" covered the 70s film explosion in great depth. It appears he was trying to recreate the magic in this book. While the evolution of independent films is a worthwhile subject, what he ended up with is a book about Miramax with brief interludes about other stories that can almost be distractive. Just look at the title where he tries to throw too much explanation. To me, this is an unauthorized biography of Miramax. That's OK. There's plenty to cover there and he did it quite well. But to continue the charade by occasionally throwing in visits to the mess @ Sundance just distracts the reader. Maybe he thought it would help sell books by throwing some dirt on Redford.
This book is a real commitment. It is long, detailed reading that takes time. But the payoff is worth it. It easy to see while you are reading that there will be many upset executives and I doubt he will have as much access if he makes another attempt at a Hollywood subject. Overall, I recommend this book for serious readers of Hollywood or the business of Hollywood
This may have been informative to people in the "movie" industry, but to the general public there were too many "inside" references.
Most recent customer reviews
I bet you dollars to donuts he is related to that other Weinstein that's been in the news lately.