The Paradox of Neoliberalism

When reading Empires of Entertainment (Holt) I was struck by one particular quote; “Robert Britt Horwitz explains in The Irony of Regulatory Reform (1989) that deregulation incorporated a “surprisingly heterogeneous” political coalition that was aligned against continued government regulation.” (Holt, 12) The phrase “surprisingly heterogeneous” regarding the state of media landscapes rings true even almost […]

Bottle Rocket: a case study on the term ‘independent’

A few of my peers have written some great posts on the question, “What does independent mean?” I honestly don’t have an answer for that question. It sure seems to me that the term ‘independent film’ is always stuck between trying to define itself as a way of production or as a film style. Furthering this, […]

“No stars, just talent:” or, how the Indie Film was won by Hollywood and changed its identity

There’s a scene about halfway through Robert Altman’s The Player in which studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is listening to the pitch of two idealist screenwriters. The story is compelling, but the screenwriters are adamant that the film not contain any stars, and that it not resolve itself. In a comment that’s a little on the […]

How the Oscars Killed the Indie Buzz

Yet if, from one angle, Shakespeare in Love and Life is Beautiful can be seen in retrospect as signaling a high point for Miramax, from another they might be perceived as initiating the company’s downward trajectory-in terms of its status with the press and its broader impact on the specialty business. As Alisa Perren asserts in her work, Indie, […]

Rise of Independent Film, Fall of Independent Filmmakers, and Slamdance to the Rescue

Alisa Perren, in her book, Indie, Inc., discusses the transformation of Hollywood and global movie marketing and distribution during the rise and eventual decline of Miramax, the film distribution company created by the brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein. During this time period of the 1980s and 90s, the “independent” film began to make its place […]

Courting Controversy: Mirimax, Kids, and Shining Excalibur

Alisa Perren’s Indie, inc.: Miramax and the transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, looks to Miramax, a company known for distributing “indie” films, in order to illustrate how one company was able to transform the independent film industry (and beyond). Perren works with a variety of case studies, but one in particlar stood out to […]

Miramax and the new Hollywood Dimension

The rise and fall of Miramax is known throughout the media world as an excellent case study of how a small independent distributor could not only rise up to compete in the big leagues with major motion picture studio films, but also produce a series of independent films and/or niche-products that were able to attract […]

The Marketing Genius

In Indie, Inc: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, Alisa Perren maps out the rise and fall of Miramax from its establishment in a small apartment in Buffalo, New York by the Weinstein brothers in 1979 until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in 1983. The case of Miramax is essentially particular as […]

“The Film That Put the Capper on One Decade and Jump-Started the Next One”

This week’s reading, Indie, Inc., discusses the evolution of the independent film, specifically the role of Miramax in the 1990s. Perren references in the second chapter the “meaning of independence” through the release of the film sex, lies and videotape.