A documentary on the American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor. Over a seven-year period the groups' fortunes varied with the latter branching out from the independent scene to sign with a major record label.
Last year saw the release of Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, an amazing music documentary about one of the world\'s biggest rock bands. It was the best kind of rock music documentary or \'rock doc\': an intimate journey into the unpredictable, loaded with insight and personal drama. While DIG! doesn\'t quite make it to the dizzying heights of Some Kind Of Monster, it is another such movie, an explosive and ultimately affecting rock doc that explores the love/hate relationship between uber pop band The Dandy Warhols and underground darlings, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Director Ondi Timoner, herself a friend of both bands, spent seven years following the two groups through various tours, trials and tribulations.Shot mainly on digital video, DIG! starts out more as a ?folk? piece, aimed at a specific young audience ?hip? to the music and artists in question. But it soon dispenses with its over-edited jargon and narcissism, transcending into a compelling, accessible and volatile melodrama between Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the lead singers of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols respectively. Timoner cannily posits them as Cain and Abel figures, who, while both respecting and loving each other as individuals/rock stars, compete, bitch and moan about each other all the long while. Newcombe and Taylor are almost perfect mirror images of each other; talented, vain, intelligent, pretty, so close to fame and fortune they can touch it, and in constant battles with their record companies over retaining artistic integrity over their material. Such frontmen. Such egos. Such a showdown!As we witness, Newcombe\'s descent into drugs and battle with artistic obscurity, become his undoing. So as a music film, DIG! covers a lot of ground. It is chaotic and complex, a searing expose on the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the music industry and fame. And the personal responsibilities and battles that must come with that.But in a week where we have lost another talented musician to depression (vale Paul Hester), DIG! is most importantly another delicately-woven story about a brilliant artist wrestling with mental illness. Which makes this ?rock doc? very sad in parts and, rock solid.