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According to Biskind (Easy Riders, Raging Bulls), most people associate independent filmmaking with such noble concepts as integrity, vision and self-sacrifice. This gritty, ferocious, compulsively readable book proves that these characterizations are only partly true, and that indie conditions are "darker, dirtier, and a lot smaller" than major studios' gilded environments. The intimidating image of Miramax's Harvey Weinstein plows powerfully through Biskind's saga; the studio honcho emerges as a combination of blinding charm and raging excess, a boisterous bully who tears phones out of walls and overturns tables. Former Miramax exec Patrick McDarrah, in comparing Weinstein with his brother and partner, Bob Weinstein, concludes, "Harvey is ego, Bob is greed." These two volatile personalities directly-and fascinatingly-contrast with the book's other protagonist, Sundance creator Robert Redford. Biskind presents Redford as passive aggressive, an invariably polite conflict avoider, but also notorious for keeping people waiting and failing to follow through on commitments. Because of the actor/director's elusive persona and his artistic tastes0which Biskind describes alternately as puritanical, conservative and mushy-the Weinsteins dominate throughout. Biskind brilliantly covers their career hits, from the high-profile acquisition of Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies and Videotape through backstories for Cinema Paradiso, Good Will Hunting and Chicago to brutal clashes with Martin Scorsese over Gangs of New York. And Quentin Tarantino's lust for stardom, Billy Bob Thornton's "ornery, stick-to-your-guns" personality and Ben Affleck's frustration about being underpaid are just a few of the other mesmerizing elements Biskind includes. Above all, Biskind conveys a key truth: the Weinsteins and Redford, whatever their personal imperfections, possess courage and a deep, overwhelming love of film.
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Entertainment Weekly Dishy, teeming, superbly reported...packed with lively inside anecdotes...[a] juicy and fascinating exposé.
Frank Rich, The New York Times 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.
Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times Sensationally entertaining. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Although I really loved Peter's narrative, I couldn't help thinking how well does he really know the people he is describing. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Martin Moore
If you are not in the business of making movies this long exposition on the politics of the industry is a total dud. Read morePublished on July 1 2004
Biskind has written another fascinating book about the film industry, again focusing on a few colourful personalities to drive the narrative. Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by samizdat7
Biskind has topped his previous book and that one was great. In this book he exposes the reader to the behind-the-scenes stories behind Miramax, Sundance
and the indie film... Read more
Harvey Weinstein likes to tell people he will do them bodily harm. He likes say these things in loud voices while breaking things. Read morePublished on May 13 2004 by N. Siefers
The inside scoop about how Miramax and Sundance operate and the pros and cons of robert redofrd and harvey weinstein. Read morePublished on May 13 2004 by William D. Tompkins
This book was written by Peter Biskind who was the executive editor of Premiere Magazine and is also the author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Edsopinion.com
Do you love movies, or do you love backroom business gossip about the movie industry? If it's the former, skip this book. Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by Mike Spearns