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With: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood, Peter Holmstrom, Zia McCabe, Brent DeBoer, Eric Hedford, Dean Taylor, Kristen Kerr
Written by: Ondi Timoner
Directed by: Ondi Timoner
MPAA Rating: R for language and drug use
Running Time: 107
Date: 01/18/2004

DIG! (2004)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Bandie Feud

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like Metallica: Some Kind ofMonster, which was released around thesame time, Ondi Timoner's documentary DIG! successfully explores the psychological center of a rock band. Onlythis time, we get two rock bands for the price of one. Given unprecedentedaccess to both the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre for sevenyears, the filmmaker traces the rising friendship and respect between the twobands, followed by an ever-escalating feud when the Dandys sign a record deal.According to the Brian Jonestown Massacre's egomaniacal, troublesome leadsinger Anton Newcombe, the Dandys represent the sellout establishment while he,Anton, is a genius that will be revered for generations to come (quite possiblya new Nick Drake or Velvet Underground). Thankfully, this remarkable film hasenough insight and vision to resist buying into such simplistic observations.It spends equal time with both bands, capturing their successes and failures andmaking each story fresh and human. Astonishingly, the Dandys continue to praiseAnton's genius even after his abominable behavior toward them. DIG! is also brave enough to show the real, ugly warts of themusic business, whereas more established bands would probably prefer apolished, PR-approved vision.

DVD Details: Palm Pictures has released DIG! in a great 2-disc set that includes three commentary tracks: one by the Dandys, one by the various Brian Jonestown Massacre members (minus Anton), and one by the filmmakers. There are also enough deleted scenes to assemble into a second film, plus music videos and live performances from each band, and much more.

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