He’s been satirized by Tom Cruise (well, by Tom Cruise’s fat suit, anyway), has the kind of name that goes well in an Entourage script, and Overnight even faintly implied that he tried to have Troy Duffy killed. Now Harvey Weinstein, the original bear Jew, is the subject of a supposedly unauthorized biography. IFC Films acquired the rights to Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Story, a documentary by Canadian director Barry Avrich, with plans to release the film in the US.
A statement from IFC described the film as a “powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account” tracing Weinstein from his early days as a theater operator and concert promoter in upstate New York to the present day as the head of an embattled independent-film company.
Weinstein apparently did not cooperate with the production and tried to persuade Avrich not to move forward [at one point even telling him that Tarantino was already doing a similar project]. But that did not stop the director from making the film, and it apparently won’t stop IFC from releasing it — even though James Dolan, the chairman of IFC parent company Rainbow Media, is a known friend of Weinstein. [LA Times]
More Weinstein gossip:
His dearest friends admit he can be a tyrant, and one of his many enemies recommends Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as required reading. He’s been known to tear marketing posters in half while explaining that “these all suck and you guys are morons for coming up with them.” Sometimes he seems to rant just to stay in shape.
“There is one story that needs to be told about this guy, and you are not going to tell it,” hisses a New York film executive. “You’re going to write another story about this amazing indie genius, and if you think I am going to participate in the lionization of that fat f*ck for even a second, you are out of your mind.”
“He is a pushcart peddler who is more than happy to put his thumb on the scale when the old woman is buying meat,” says producer Saul Zaentz. “He has no qualms about it.” Zaentz produced The English Patient, which won Best Picture for Miramax and did almost $80 million in business. But he’s still waiting for the big payout; so far, he’s seen $5 million. “When I talked with him about it, he says, ‘I am a filmmaker; I’m not an accountant,’ ” Zaentz recalls.
Weinstein’s tendency to physically menace people on occasion hasn’t always helped matters. Jonathan Taplin met an enraged version of Weinstein at Sundance after he sold Shine to Fine Line. (Weinstein denies he ever laid a hand on him.)
“It was very unpleasant to have this guy strangle you in a restaurant, but I give him credit for being passionate enough about Shine to hunt me down and confront me,” Taplin recalls. “He was totally out of control and had to be thrown out of the restaurant, but you would have to put me down on the side of people who are passionate and crazy about movies.” [via A/V Club]
Yeah, so this being IFC and not someone with a career death wish, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume this “unauthorized” business is mostly hype. Either that, or Barry Avrich has resigned himself to LIVING OUT THE REST OF HIS DAYS CLEANING HOBO JIZZ OFF THE PEEP SHOW FLOOR IN MOOSEJAW F*CKING SASKETCHAWAN. DO YOU HEAR ME, YOU F*CK? I WILL BURY YOUR MOTHER IN THE F*CKING DESERT. What do you think, Quentin?
That’s right, I gave Q-Ball his first taste of the nose candy and introduced him to the wizard back there, if you will. Best damned decision I ever made.