Recommended readings - Down and Dirty Pictures
Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind
From the author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind comes with this funny and full of juicy anecdotes about the rise of American Independent Cinema in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Focusing on the rise of Miramax and the trembling foundations of the Sundance Film Festival it paints a portrait of the Weinstein bros and Robert Redford. On one hand we discover how manipulative and tyrannical Harvey and Bob Weinstein are with everyone in the business and how they manage to elevate the best of the Indys out there. While Redford is presented as the control freak of Sundance.
The main critic I can express about this book is how Biskind likes to put everyone in the mud to keep its viewer alert. Some interviews with former employees of Miramax sure juice the fact that Harvey is a man with some Angers but still. Sometimes the book looks like a diatribe against the Weinsteins...
On the other hand the stories around the debuts of Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Haynes, and the other interesting filmmakers out there are full of details and interesting facts. This is a very enjoyable book that entertains and educates about this blank spot that Independent films always had in the History of Cinema. A must read.