Author: Peter Biskind
Original publication date: March 3, 1998

Peter Biskind is one hard-nosed, intrepid Hollywood reporter. A veteran writer for outlets like the now-defunct Premiere, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, Biskind knows how to pull unfiltered, all-encompassing anecdotes and stories from all of his sources.

For Down and Dirty Pictures, he zeroed in on the gods of the Sundance Film Festival—Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh—to recount the late 1980s/early '90s rise of American independent film. And his reporting is top-notch, unveiling all of the trials, tribulations, disappointments, and victories of the filmmakers and move-makers who turned movies like Reservoir Dogs, sex, lies, and videotape, and Clerks into modern classics.

Which brings us to the real star of Down and Dirty Pictures: Harvey Weinstein, the hard-nosed, bullish, brilliant marketing and negotiating mastermind behind Miramax, and now The Weinstein Company (along with his brother, Bob). Packed with firsthand accounts of Weinstein's greatest wig-outs, backdoor deals, and emotional terrorist moments (recalled by those who lived through them, including Harvey himself), Biskind's book captivates with its fly-on-the-wall access. —MB