Starring: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood, Peter Holmstrom, Zia McCabe
Directed by: Ondi Timoner
Synopsis: A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.
Two words can sum Dig! up pretty accurately to be honest. Car crash. No one comes out if it particularly well, not the ego-driven, over ambitious Dandy Warhols nor the fractured, schizoid, paranoid, drug guzzling Anton Newcombe.
Dig! is the story of two rival bands who start as friends and end up as enemies, whilst one rises to the top and the other sinks to the bottom. It will depend on your taste in music as to which band you prefer, but the documentary is nothing short of hilarious whilst you decide.
Many of the band members featured have distanced themselves from the film (not surprisingly) stating that it is a false representation of what actually happened. Personally, I don’t care if it’s true or not, it’s a great watch! There is (arguably) some good music, some insane characters, some drugs, some fights and some seriously weird behaviour. The film centres on Anton Newcombe, leader of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, who appears to be the complete antithesis of Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols. He is all about the music compared with Taylor who seems hungry for fame. Supposedly friends, Taylor takes every opportunity to big up his own band at the expense of Newcombe’s.
Newcombe is considered by some to be a bit of a genius (that might be quite wide of the mark) and if being in your own world is a sign of genius, maybe he is. Seriously, the guy is totally nuts. Not helped by copious drug taking. Whenever it looks as though he may make a commercial breakthrough he seems to go out of his way to destroy it, leading to some pretty funny scenes.
The good thing about Dig! is that you don’t need to have any particular appreciation for the music or bands in question. As long as you want a fun filled, gob smackingly crazy ride through the twisted but brilliant mind of a group of rival musicians, then you will be hooked on Dig!