So this is what you get if you don’t buy New York magazine. On Monday, Elizabeth “The Kicker” Spiers plants a swift one right in Harvey Weinstein’s buttcheek. Fearing that Peter Biskind’s new book, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film, was not getting the attention it deserves*, Spiers posted excerpts where Wenstein went all Kurtz on a pair of NY Observer reporters in Nov. 2000. Apparently, Headlockee Andrew Goldman was so traumatized by the encounter he, um, went to work for Talk Magazine. The Horror, The Horror, indeed.
Well, Spiers needn’t have feared. D&D‘s getting decent attention; The Observer reviews it, but without mentioning their employee’s cameo appearance in a Weinsteinian headlock. And over at GreenCine, David puts the book–and Biskind’s career–in compelling context. He also points to IndieWIRE’s review, by Eugene Hernandez, who uncovers the essence of D&D by contrasting it with Biskind’s earlier history of the 70’s, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls:
…Those familiar with Easy Riders, Raging Bulls will notice a different approach to this decade. It is not about the films, it is about the business of the movies, that’s the story that, according to Biskind, defined the 90s. “This is a distribution and marketing story.
Net net: buy it for the in-depth insight gleaned from hundreds of interviews, read it for the tawdry gossip.
* Update: Some crank named Frank Rich writes about Down and Dirty Pictures in the NYT A&L. And via GreenCine, Sean Means safely predicts that the book’ll be “prime topic of cocktail-party conversation at the [Sundance Film] Festival.” I think he means the coverage of the book.