Down and Dirty Pictures Paperback – 5 Sep 2005
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A total page-turner. The anecdotes, the characters, the fights, the stress of independent film-making are here in all their full-bloodedness -- Independent
As gripping and compelling as the fastest-paced thriller unmissable ***** -- Hotdog
Dishy, teeming, superbly reported a juicy and fascinating exposé -- Entertainment Weekly
Smart and funny Its a real rollercoaster ride -- New York Observer
Thoughtful, gossipy, and altogether mesmerising ... A shamelessly good read -- New York Times
About the Author
Peter Biskind is the author of three previous books. Currently a contributor to Vanity Fair, he was formerly the executive editor of Premiere and has written for numerous publications. He lives in Columbia County, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book brings movie history up to date with the increasing commercialisation of indie cinema, the impact of Miramax, Tarantino - the cinema of the 80s, 90s, up until now. This is the history of the cinema of our era - all of the gossip behind our celluloid pop culture. The hardcover version of this book is beautiful and very heavy - you feel you are getting your money's worth both in weight and in readability. Buy one for yourself, then one for everyone else for Christmas.
Told in much the same style as Easy Riders, Raging Bulls it is a wild mixture of serious comment and salacious gossip. Biskind writes beautifully, handling another huge topic with an enormous cast of characters deftly. He is assisted by the fact that many of the players and the films are already well-known to the reader but he has a wonderful talent for the one-line character profile (often a one-line character assassination) and he chooses his quotes well.
It is evitable given his larger than life personality and aggressive business practices that Harvey Weinstein comes to dominate the book in much the same way as the Weinstein brothers have dominated the independent film business. Harvey Weinstein is a fascinating although in many ways deeply repellent character – very aggressive, prone to outbursts of rage, guilty of some very dubious business practices, a man who will shaft someone just because he can – however he is responsible for some of the best films of recent years and at least he loves movies (unlike some of his competitors). In Biskind’s view he made the independent film business.Read more ›
Where Easy Riders was salacious in its stories and anecdotes of Hollywood's new breed of talent, Down and Dirty focuses more on the emerging independent generation of filmmakers, starting with low budget films such as Clerks, Sex Lies and Videotape and Reservoir Dogs, allied with Robert Redford's emerging Sundance Film Festival.
The gossip of Easy Riders is replaced by stories of ingenious marketing, credit card filmmaking and sleeper hits. Soderbergh, Smith and Tarantino are the star directors, Weinstein and Redford are the ones who made it happen.
While still enjoyable, there's much less scandal in this one - although the various stories of Harvey Weinstein's outrageous temper and backstabbing more than makes up for it. Recommended.
Harvey Weinstein, it will come as a surprise to few, is presented as a brash, egotistical bully (those are kind adjectives). Along with his brother, Bob, he rose from a concert promoter in Queens to one of Hollywood's most powerful - Miramax is now a major force giving birth to many Oscar nominated films.
In the author's words both Weinsteins "had volcanic tempers. They were wizards of abuse, excelling in the exotic art of public humiliation, lashing staffers in front of their peers."
Robert Redford, the founder of Sundance, also receives attention. He, as described by Biskin, is a control freak who "who was not in a position to run the institute himself, but neither, it seemed, was he able to let anyone else run it." Alas ladies, our handsome matinee idol does have chinks in his armor.
"Down and Dirty Pictures" in addition to being a superbly detailed history of the rise of the indies is also a spicy gossip laced read with celebrity quotes from Matt Damon to Uma Thurman to Anthony Minghella. It's sometimes hilarious, sometimes sobering; it is always fascinating reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wouldn't have been able to get through my essay without it.Published 2 months ago by Matthew Fishwick
Initially about independent film makers and Sundance this book eventually morphs into the Weinstein story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wingate
A boring read - especially after the thoroughly entertaining 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls' by the same author. Read morePublished 23 months ago by spaldog
Really good book which gives detailed insights into how the movie industry works.Published on 15 July 2014 by Helen B
As a fan of 90s independent cinema, this book was an eye-opener. Having previously read John Pierson's 'Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes', Biskind's book offered an alternative look... Read morePublished on 17 Aug. 2013 by Lewis Howse
item arrived promptly and in excellent condition.
an eye opener of a sequel to easy riders, raging bulls. well worth a read.
Whilst somewhat lacking in the outrageousness and salacious detail of his previous book, 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls', this is a more than worthy follow-up. Read morePublished on 7 July 2011 by C. Ball
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