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Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film

Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film
Your Price: $21.95 CDN
Author: Peter Biskind
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 560
Pub. Date: 2005
ISBN-10: 0684862581
ISBN-13: 9780684862583

About the Book:

Peter Biskind follows up his entertaining, candid history of 1970s American filmmaking, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, with a gossipy account of the rise of independent cinema in the 1990s and how it influenced the major studios. Down and Dirty Pictures is groundbreaking expose that shines a beacon into the world of independent film to reveal an irresistibly fascinating industry, replete with the same inflated egos, infighting, gossip, and greed as mainstream Hollywood, but also marked by a genuine and passionate love of filmmaking.

Down and Dirty Pictures chronicles the rise of the 1990s independent filmmakers and of the twin engines – the Sundance Film Festival and Miramax Films – that powered them. As he did in his acclaimed Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, veteran entertainment journalist Peter Biskind profiles the people who took the independent movement from obscurity to the Oscars. He tracks the Miramax domination of the Nineties, where the studio, founded by the infamous Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, produced and distributed blockbuster indies including Pulp Fiction, Sex, Lies and Videotape and Shakespeare in Love. He follows Sundance as it grew from a regional film festival to the premier showcase of independent film, succeeding almost despite the mercurial Robert Redford, whose visionary plans were nearly thwarted by his own quixotic personality.

In the late 1980s a generation of filmmakers began to flower outside the Hollywood studio system and in the following decade, the independent film movement bloomed. Dozens of lesser-known filmmakers such as such as Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and David O. Russell began walking away with coveted prizes at Cannes and eventually the Academy Awards. Many of these directors were discovered at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival and then scooped up by Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Peter Biskind met with Harvey Weinstein quite a few times as he was writing the book, eventually depicting him as a brutish, violent man who nevertheless managed to charm all the right people in Hollywood and release a series of groundbreaking, Oscar-winning films making Miramax (named after his parents Miriam and Max) an Oscar factory that became the envy of the studios, while leaving a trail of carnage in his wake. Down and Dirty Pictures includes infamous Harvey Weinstein stories – the time he put a reporter into a headlock and ushered him out of a party, and the time he threw Nathan Lane against the wall, among others. Candid, penetrating, and controversial, Down and Dirty Pictures remains a must-read book for anyone interested in the film world and where it's headed.

What people say:

"Over two decades worth of Harvey Weinstein's alleged aggressions and the fallouts they caused are laid out in Peter Biskind's meticulous, juicy Down and Dirty Pictures...." VICE

"...tales of Harvey Weinstein's temper and ill-treatment of filmmakers has been legendary – many of them recounted in Peter Biskind's must-read book Down and Dirty Pictures...." The Telegraph

"Known for his angry outbursts, [Harvey Weinstein's] often aggressive tactics were chronicled in the Peter Biskind book Down and Dirty Pictures." The Globe and Mail

"Dishy, teeming, superbly reported...packed with lively inside anecdotes...[a] juicy and fascinating exposé." Entertainment Weekly

"Sensationally entertaining." Los Angeles 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." The New York Times

About the Author:

Peter Biskind is a respected American cultural critic and film historian. He is now a contributing editor for Vanity Fair. He was formerly the editor-in-chief of the Hollywood-insider magazine American Film, and the executive editor of the gone-but-not-forgotten Premiere magazine for a decade starting in 1986. His writing has appeared in scores of publications, including Rolling Stone, Paris Match, the Nation, The New York Times, the Times of London, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as film journals such as Sight and Sound and Film Quarterly. He has published six books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, which was the basis of a documentary film of the same name.

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