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Peter

West Hollywood, CA, USA | Member Since 2007

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

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Peter Biskind
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    Down and Dirty Pictures chronicles the rise of independent filmmakers and of the twin engines - the Sundance Film Festival and Miramax Films - that have powered them. Peter Biskind profiles the people who took the independent movement from obscurity to the Oscars, most notably Sundance founder Robert Redford and Harvey Weinstein, who with his brother, Bob, made Miramax an indie powerhouse.

    natalie says: "For the independent film lover!"
    "Sloppy book seems sleazier than its subjects"
    Overall

    Peter Biskind delivers another juicy read, and that goes a long way, even if the book seems relentlessly one-track-minded about painting Harvey Weinstein and Robert Redford in the most unflattering possible light. Biskind must have decided what he wanted to hear before going into any interview, so his extensive reporting merely corroborates his opening thesis -- that Harvey's a boor and Redford's a control freak.

    Still, it's fun to hear all that dirt, even if (in Harvey's case) it amounts to little more than chain smoking, binge eating and verbal abuse, invariably followed up with some form of apology a day later. There's none of the "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" sleaze here, even though Harvey's reputation is surrounded by revolting abuse-of-power anecdotes in real life (guess the lawyers couldn't clear that stuff).

    Phil Gigante gives a lively performance to the material, taking greater care to capture the voices of his characters (back-woods Billy Bob Thornton, the Redford drawl, the belligerent Harvey, etc.) than the pronunciation of their names (David Linde, for instance, features prominently and is always called "Lind" rather than "Lind-ee"). He botches many of the names, but then, Biskind's loose with his facts, and that's a far graver transgression.

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