Via GreenCine Daily comes this link to Biskind Blows. At the moment, it’s relatively light on content, but the owner’s intention is obvious enough: expose the questionable reportage of Peter Biskind, Hollywood historian cum gossip columnist. I haven’t read Down and Dirty Pictures, and have no real desire to, but, based on others’ reports, I feel safe in assuming that my main beef with Easy Riders, Raging Bulls applies to his newer work as well.
BiskindBlows.com links to a fun Movie Answer Man column in which Roger Ebert offers his account of a “notorious” exchange between himself and Todd Haynes. Ebert includes a letter from Christine Vachon, the independent producer responsible for making Biskind aware of the exchange:
At those Independent Spirit Awards (a million years ago it seems like) we had been told that you were not a fan of the film. Todd did introduce himself to you. I remember you appeared a bit flustered. I did not say that you said ‘who the hell is Todd Haynes.’ And I certainly do not remember saying ‘you pulled your hand away.’ I told the story — innocently, I thought — in the context of how far Todd and I had come with our little film. We’d heard you didn’t like it, so it was an uncomfortable encounter — but absolutely not in the mean-spirited context Biskind put it in.
I have not talked to Peter Biskind since the publication of the book. He has not returned my calls. There were several things he quoted me as saying that I felt were taken out of context, like calling my longtime partner Ted Hope a ‘thuggish frat boy’ — yikes!
My biggest disappointment in the book (besides the tedium of one Bad Harvey story after another) was that there was absolutely no sense of the pleasure of seeing the films themselves. I remember seeing some movies at Sundance (like “The Hours and the Times”) and being stunned and excited. Seems that the book should have had you rooting for Miramax at least half of the time.