Candid, penetrating and controversial, Down and Dirty Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the film world.
©2004 Peter Biskind; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"In Down and Dirty Pictures, Biskind takes on the movie industry of the 1990s and again gets the story....Peter Biskind captures his era as John Dunne did that of the Zanucks." (The New York Times)
"Dishy, teeming, superbly reported...packed with lively inside anecdotes...[a] juicy and fascinating expose." (Entertainment Weekly)
This is an incredibly insightful book about the inner workings of Miramax and Sundance. It is a little like seeing how sausage is made, as it takes some of the glamour out of the movies you love.
The accents that Phil Gigante does for each player range from unobtrusive to hilariously awful. It's something you can listen past, but each time Matt Damon or Spike Lee "spoke", I burst out laughing. This is a small distraction, however. The book is over 23 hours long and when it ended, I immediately started it again. If you have interest in independent or smaller movies, you will find this book completely entertaining.
This book is a must read for any fan of Miramax and/or Sundance.
The Weinstein stories are incredible.
Phil Gigante's range as a storyteller is perfect and his representations of the parties involved in the narrative are spot on!
Miramax Sucks, Sundance Blows
This is a revelation.
I don't know.
I don't know.
See my review below.
It was excellent.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It’s ironic that the men behind some of the most thoughtful, critically acclaimed independent films of the 90s (The Crying Game, Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, etc) - the Weinstein brothers, are at base a couple of bullies. It’s also ironic that independent film icon, Robert Redford, used his influence at Sundance to take promising projects (A River Runs Through It and Quiz Show) away from other Sundance filmmakers . Although some might complain that author Biskind portrays the Weinsteins and Redford negatively, there is no lack of evidence for his point of view. He names names; it’s good, solid journalism. Phil Gigante’s narration is excellent. He gives dozens of people distinctive voices, and his characterizations of Harvey and Bob Weinstein are particularly memorable
It's an impressive collection of "inside" stories from all sources regarding the rise of Sundance and Miramax. The only knock is that, since it's a kind of oral history, there are many different voices of remarkable people throughout. My apologies to the narrator, but I found his takes on the likes of Spike Lee, Matt Damon and many others to be silly, distracting, and occasionally insulting.
Once you get past that it's a fascinating look into the independent film culture and the origins of some of Hollywood's biggest names and companies.
Excellent read - the author's bias is evident throughout so large grains of salt should be applied but it's an essential bit of research for upcoming filmmakers, actors and people with a keen interest in film as a business.
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.
"Want to know about Indie films? A must listen"
I am a student studying film and this book has proven to be fascinating for many reasons. For one I goes a really well written and interesting insight into how it is done in the real world if film. I also had worked well as something I could quote from and talk about in Uni work. Lots of useful information on how filmmakers such as Soderbergh, Tarantino and Smith began and worked in an Indie environment.
Very well read as well with good voices and well paced.
I would defiantly recommend!
This audio book is more relevant now than ever! It is vital for anyone working in film or with an interest. It also has an amazing narrative, so it['s not boring! Like a work of fiction, there are strong character stories all the way through... I found this impossible to put away and have enjoyed every minute of it! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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