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

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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. As he did in his acclaimed Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, 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.
Today Sundance is the most important film festival this side of Cannes, and Miramax has become an industry giant. Likewise, the directors who emerged from the independent movement, such as Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and David O. Russell, are now among the best-known directors in Hollywood. Not to mention the actors who emerged with them, like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman.
Candid, penetrating, and controversial, Down and Dirty Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the film world and where it's headed.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (January 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684862581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684862583
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

Sticking with a Format that Works for Him

 on December 30, 2009
By Marc Korman
This is the third Biskind book I have read. The first I picked up was his famous Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Enjoying it so much, I purchased this book as well as Seeing is Believing, his book about the 50s. Seeing is Believing was a big letdown, as my review for the book demonstrates. It was with trepidation that I picked up Down and Dirty Pictures, but I was happy to see Biskind was sticking with his Easy Riders formula.

Pete Biskind and his Hatchet

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 20, 2004
By Rick Spell
This book is a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. It is a very good example of investigative journalism and also an example of poor editing. Please don’t include everything you learned. Maybe he needed Harvey Weinstein to edit the book!

Must read for film biz

 on July 13, 2016
By naser mohammed
Having trained at Focus, and now producing on my own, I think this book is by far great at showcasing great case studies and also detailed accounts or history lessons on the world of indie filmmaking. I think every producer should read this book but more importantly every filmmaker

"DOWN AND DIRTY" and it was. Loved it.

 on February 26, 2015
Shows amazing behind the scenes stories of how movies get made, and distributed, who wields the power and how.

Always fascinating

 on March 12, 2013
I’ve always enjoyed Peter Biskind’s writing – he takes you up close and personal into the film industry. It’s similar to looking through a window – but you don’t feel like a peeping tom. I think one needs to read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls first as Down and Dirty Pictures continues to take you through the hallways of the Industry. Peter takes no prisoners – tells it like it is and if you don’t like that -then find something else to read.

Worth it

 on July 1, 2014
By Neal Karlen
well done, but not as good as Biskind’s “Easy Riders……….” In film terms, a sequel that doesn’t quit live up to the original, but still worth seeing. Excellent journalism, vivid portraits…….more proof that Hollywood (and its satellite planets in New York) is not the place to be if one is looking for sanity.

Nice deal.

 on February 7, 2017
By Amazon Customer
Fast shipping. Nice deal.

Five Stars

 on April 20, 2016
By Amazon Customer
Great book. Arrived quickly.

A marvelous book but lack’s some conclusion

 on October 28, 2013
By Amazon Customer
The book is a joy ride in the “Miramax year’s” of film making. But unfortunately it was closed before the Weinsten leaves Miramax. So, it made the look a little incomplete. But It’s a great reading.

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