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Down And Dirty Pictures Miramax Sundance And The Rise Of Independent Film Pdf

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ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators. We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels. The course is aimed at establishing the points of convergence and divergence between the history, economy, aesthetics, and social significance of film production in Spain and the United States.

Down and Dirty Pictures

This is an edited version of the guide for the module on American indie cinema that I teach at Brunel University, minus much of the procedural information provided to students. The independent sector has produced some of the most exciting and distinctive films to appear in the US in recent decades.

This module will look closely at the industrial, formal and social-cultural-political dimensions of American independent cinema, from the work that verges on the avant-garde to the margins of Hollywood.

Students who choose this module will find it helpful to have taken FM New Hollywood Cinema at Level 2, but this is not a requirement. General, in-depth studies of American Independent Cinema at an academic level are in short supply. Tauris, Chapters from this book form the basis of some of the sessions on the module and will offer more in-depth versions of some of the material covered in the lectures.

The library has multiple copies, but not enough for everyone — it is very much worth buying your own copy if you can as the book will be of use throughout the module. The introduction is available as an extract online via gkindiefilm. Another very useful book that turns up in various weeks and is also worth purchase is Michael Z. Also recommended is E. Deidre Pribram, Cinema and Culture: Independent Film in the United States, Peter Lang, , although this is a little dense in places and includes overseas as well as American films many of the lengthier case studies focus on non-American films, but much of the argument can also be applied to US examples.

None of these are works of an academic level, however, and so are only of limited introductory value. You should also read more widely on subjects covered, not just in relation to American Independent Cinema general theory of genre or narrative, for example, in relation to genre or narrative in AIC.

It is worth buying, or otherwise obtaining, copies of films you intend to write about in depth, where this is possible, to permit close study of the text. This is highly recommended.

Some can be bought quite cheaply on DVD, although others might be more difficult or expensive to obtain — some might only be available from the US, on amazon. To understand American independent cinema, it helps to have some background knowledge about two major points of reference: Hollywood cinema and postwar American culture and society.

Many of you will have taken FM New Hollywood Cinema and will be familiar with the workings of contemporary Hollywood.

But if you did not take FM, you might want to do some reading to gain some useful background, as the independent sector is defined in many respects through its differences from Hollywood and mainstream cinema more generally.

One of the perspectives used in this module is to consider the social-cultural context of American independent cinema, which requires some familiarity with American society, culture and recent history. Some of you will have more familiarity with this than others.

Some background reading here is advised. Note in particular that the module does not explicitly address social-political issues until week 7 black indie cinema, New Queer Cinema, politics in indie cinema , although broader social-cultural issues will be in play throughout the module and some of you will choose to use this perspective in the first assessment. A search of the library catalogue or shelves will provide many more texts on general or specific issues for example, on issues such as race or gender politics in the US, should you chose to focus on those topics.

Credit will be given for the use of initiative in the finding and use of source sources beyond the reading list. It is worth looking in film-related journals and exploring the resources of the internet. But do not just rely on non-academic web sources.

Make sure you use some material of appropriate substance. Web sources tend to be of more use for factual background than for substance. The Internet Movie Database www. Google and other web search sites can turn up useful material, particularly factual details, but beware of the quality and reliability of some material on the web — and always include any internet sources you use, with full URL details and identification of sources, in your bibliography.

The best on-line source of material specific to American Independent Cinema is indiewire. It produces a daily newsletter and has a useful and searchable archive. Also worth consulting is the website of Filmmaker: The Magazine of Independent Film subscribed to by the library , which allows access to much of its archive. See also my website IndieFilm www.

Variety, the film industry bible, is taken by the library. Note that you can also access the online version of Variety via the library, which includes a searchable database on past issues. This is very useful for finding industry-related material for your case study and highly recommended — just enter the title and you will find articles written about the film during its production and release.

Websites of other major Hollywood trade papers provide limited access to their materials, but are worth checking in some cases:. The Hollywood Reporter www. For research on case studies especially, and more generally, it is recommended that you also visit the BFI library in central London: a limited number of membership cards can be borrowed from the School office in the Gaskell building.

Among other things, the BFI library has a facility for searching their holdings of journals, a good way to find out if any academic articles have been written on individual films about which you might wish to write. The independent sector has thrived in American cinema in recent decades, producing a body of work that stands out from the dominant Hollywood mainstream and that includes many of the most distinctive films to have appeared in the US.

But what, exactly, do we mean by the term? This session will seek to define independent cinema from three overlapping perspectives: industrial context, formal-aesthetic context and social-political-ideological context a process similar to that used in the Level 2 module FM New Hollywood cinema. At the industrial level, the American independent sector stretches from extremes of low or almost no-budget filmmaking to the margins of Hollywood; from grainy images shot in 16mm or digital video to glossy products that look more like those of the commercial mainstream; from small one-off home-based production to the world of suits, offices and consolidated business enterprises.

This session will focus particularly on developments since the mids, examining the impact of pioneering low-budget feature film-makers, the importance of the development of an industrial infrastructure including institutions such as the Sundance film festival, and the nature of the relationship between Hollywood and the indie sector. Which company distributed it especially in the US, if several listed. What can you find out about this company? Does it have any connection with the Hollywood studios?

What kind of release pattern did it have; that is, in how many cinemas did it open and how did that develop during its theatrical run? The basic facts should be available from the Internet Movie DataBase imdb. In addition to company details and figures for budget and box office, the imdb also usually includes week-by-week detail of how many screens a film was on and what it earned each week — data that can be used to analyse the kind of release strategy employed in any individual case.

Finding out the nature of the companies will require more research. Try to find a home page, for example, or do a search on an engine such as googe. Others are more complex than the typical Hollywood narrative, which usually revolves around a small number of major strands. Winter In some cases, the two overlap or are combined. Genre is an important framework for many independent filmmakers, whether as a device to be used or one to be subverted from the inside.

This session will look at genre in general, but will focus particularly on the use of the science fiction and horror genres. Consideration will also be given to the use of elements of comedy and shifts of tone in some indie films. Petty, Grant ed. Films by new, young black filmmakers were an important component of the indie upsurge of the late s and early s, the early films of Spike Lee in particular helping to inspire a new generation of work.

Less well-known but also considered this week is a previous black independent movement of the s that became known as the LA School, key members of which including more socially and politically oriented filmmakers such as Charles Burnett and Haile Gerima. Baker, Jr. One of the most striking manifestations of the early s boom in independent production, and a contributor to its wider and sometimes controversial public profile, was the movement that became known as New Queer Cinema, a term coined by the critic B.

Michael Cuesta, What scope has American independent cinema offered for other alternative voices, particularly those from left-of-centre? In general, it might be argued, not very much, and the reasons for an absence of more politically-oriented filmmaking will be one issue to be considered this week. There are exceptions, however, including the contentious personal-essay style of documentary found in the work of Michael Moore, his predecessor Emile De Antonio and a number of successors, and in the fiction films of John Sayles.

See also various interviews in this collection with de Antonio and sections on individual films, including pp on In the Year of the Pig. What are the ingredients necessary for a film to gain such status? Is it a question of the film itself, or the nature of its reception by a particular subculture of viewers? How are such works differentiated from the mainstream, and how do we understand the place of films that are given this label within the broader independent spectrum?

Indiewood is the place where Hollywood and the American independent sector meet, where lines blur and two very different kinds of cinema come together in what can be a striking blend of creativity and commerce. This is an arena in which innovative, sometimes challenging cinema reaches out to the mainstream. Irony vs. The rise of Indiewood has led some commentators to predict the death of a distinctly indie cinema, but lower budget production continues to thrive, even if distribution is often less easy to obtain.

Contemporary low-budget features are produced on both celluloid and in a number of digital video formats, the latter offering a number of commercial and other qualities that will also be considered this week, including digitally-based forms of distribution. Your email address will not be published.

Skip to content. Module guide This is an edited version of the guide for the module on American indie cinema that I teach at Brunel University, minus much of the procedural information provided to students. Introduction: How Independent? Screening: to be announced 2. Genre Screening: Primer Shane Carruth, 6. Research Week — no classes this week November first assessment due this week, Tuesday 8 November 8. Other sources It is worth looking in film-related journals and exploring the resources of the internet.

Websites of other major Hollywood trade papers provide limited access to their materials, but are worth checking in some cases: The Hollywood Reporter www.

Also worth consulting are academic film journals in the library. Week 1: Introduction: How Independent? Which company or companies produced it. What was the budget? What was the US domestic box-office gross? Adams Sitney ed. Masood ed. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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Down and dirty pictures : Miramax, Sundance, and the rise of independent film

Reclaiming Independence: American This consolidation created a sector that is now controlled by a handful of major conglomerate subsidiaries and a few diversified stand-alone companies. These companies have been investing increasingly in commercial properties, with films like Juno and Sideways achieving commercial success almost on a par with studio pictures and provoking reactions from critics who have questioned their independent status. The low cost of these practices allows some of these films to achieve profitability, which enables their filmmakers to continue working without compromises. This was followed by Disney and its drastic downsizing of Miramax Films after the departure of the Bob and Harvey Weinstein and the failure of the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez double bill experiment Grindhouse Then in the early weeks of , Paramount announced that its Paramount Vantage division would cease to exist as an autonomous subsidiary with its own distribution apparatus and would instead be absorbed by the major in a similar way Warner Bros.

the down and dirty pictures miramax sundance the rise of independent film peter biskind partner that Similar to PDF Books World, Feedbooks allows those that.

Peter Biskind

Established in as an experiment in the exhibition of digital art works, media installations, and multimedia performance, New Frontier was designed within a deliberately social setting that fosters collaboration and exchange, and has been curated to bring together artists, filmmakers, and media scientists who are innovating models for cinematic storytelling. Set in the snowy, ski resort town of Park City, Utah, New Frontier is an initiative of the Sundance Film Festival, one of the most prestigious and value-producing film festivals in the United States. Scholars in the emerging field of film festival studies have detailed how market pressures weigh heavily on the kinds of relationships audiences have with the films exhibited at festivals. Senior programmer and curator Shari Frilot locates the motivation for founding New Frontier in a need to reappropriate screen culture, new media technologies, and cinema toward the nourishment of alternate modes of engaging cinema:. When we walk around, screens follow our bodies.

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

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James Lyons, Indie, Inc. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account? Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Biskind charts in fascinating detail the meteoric rise of the controversial Harvey Weinstein, often described as the last mogul, who created an Oscar factory that became the envy of the studios, while leaving a trail of carnage in his wake. He follows Sundance as it grew from a regional film festival to the premier showcase of independent film, succeeding almost despite the mercurial Redford, whose visionary plans were nearly thwarted by his own quixotic personality. 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. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine.

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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. Peter Biskind profiles the people who took the independent movement from obscurity toMoreDown 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. 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. Candid, penetrating and controversial, Down and Dirty Pictures is a must—read for anyone interested in the film world. In Down and Dirty Pictures, Biskind takes on the movie industry of the s and again gets the story

Cancel anytime. Candid, penetrating and controversial, Down and Dirty Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the film world. Any additional comments? 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.

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