Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film (Book Notes)
Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind is an enthralling and meticulously researched account of the rise of independent film in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s. The book centers around two key players in this era: Miramax Films and its founders, the Weinstein brothers, and the Sundance Film Festival and its founder, Robert Redford.
Biskind paints a vivid portrait of these companies, detailing their origins, growth, and the cultural impact of their films. He explores the controversies surrounding the Weinstein brothers, including their, often, confrontational relationships with actors and directors and their tendency to exert control over filmmakers and their work.
The author also delves into the wider impact of these companies on the film industry, including the rise of "indiewood" and the increasing corporate consolidation of the film business. He presents a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes business practices of the film industry during this time, including the wheeling and dealing involved in getting films made and distributed.
Throughout the book, Biskind's writing is engaging and informative, and his research is impressively detailed. He draws on a wealth of interviews and primary sources to provide an insider's view of the independent film scene during this era.
SUMMARY: Down and Dirty Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of independent film and the workings of the film industry. It's a compelling and insightful account of a crucial period in cinema history, and it sheds light on the forces that shaped the film industry during this time. Highly recommended.