Sunday, March 06, 2005

New Wein In Old Bottles

We have to say that the Weinstein brothers, of Miramax fame and overheated Times profile, are a rather comical pair. The brothers, former rock promoters, would have had their asses kicked by top Led Zep manager Peter Grant for even attempting such a lame goon squad act. But then we have no desire to make a movie, ever.

In Hollywood, as Get Shorty pointed out, they lapped that act up. The Weinstein's genius, the tantrums, the half-assed vendettas, the manipulations, seemed to lie in careering across the line that separated commerce from thuggery. Note, we do not say commerce and art. But having read the lumpy and somewhat unruly collection of "Harvey yelled at me" anecdotes that is Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures we reckon that independent film appealed to the Weinsteins mean streak because of its abundance of sensitive souls and cheap product, rather than to their artistic leanings.

Do we think that the Weinsteins kicked off the commercialisation of independent film? Nope, we think they borrowed it. Their rule lasted about as long as the Five families lacked interest. The tantrums, the endless butchery of meandering directors' cuts, were the only way to run your distributor if Daddy wasn't around. As soon as they brought Daddy back in, they were doomed.

In other media, Gawker manfully faces down Fred Durst's lawsuit over the filthy video that they hosted for a while. Little did Durst's briefs realise that top force for humanity and decency on the internet Felix Salmon had prevailed upon them to take it down. Take that Sidekick filth-mongers everywhere!


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