Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Down and Dirty Pictures - Peter Biskind

The subtitle perfectly condenses all the subsequent 500 pages : 'Miramax, Sundance and the rise of independent film'. This is the 1990s pendant to Biskind's 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls' which dealt with the New Hollywood cinema of the 1970s; Scorsese, Coppola, Friedkin et al.

Like the previous opus, this was complete, well-researched and finely-shaded in its opinions. Not even the bullying Weinstein brothers, occupying at least a solid 60% of the book, are depicted as all bad : True enough, you have a hard time seeing why anybody in the world would ever want to work for them (except for moviestars, who get a different treatment) yet Biskind also underlines Miramax tremendous contribution to independent film on the whole.
Nor is Golden Boy Robert Redford, founder of the not-quite-equally-but-still important Sundance Festival, defined solely as the lowkey aficionado he usually comes across as.

I very much preferred this to 'Easy Riders...', probably because I remember most of the films mentioned and actually have seen many of them.

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