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Dig! (2004)

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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.

Director:

Ondi Timoner

Writer:

Ondi Timoner
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Anton Newcombe Anton Newcombe ... Himself
Courtney Taylor-Taylor ... Himself
Joel Gion ... Himself
Matt Hollywood Matt Hollywood ... Himself
Peter Holmström Peter Holmström ... Himself
Zia McCabe Zia McCabe ... Herself
Brent DeBoer Brent DeBoer
Eric Hedford Eric Hedford ... Himself
Dean Taylor Dean Taylor ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brad Wm. Clark Brad Wm. Clark ... Himself
The Dandy Warhols The Dandy Warhols ... Themselves
Jeff Davies Jeff Davies ... Himself
Frankie Emerson Frankie Emerson ... Himself
Erik Gavriluk Erik Gavriluk ... Himself
Nic Harcourt Nic Harcourt ... Himself
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Storyline

A documentary on the rivalry between two rock bands. On one hand we have The Dandy Warhols, and its leader Courtney Taylor-Taylor, and on the other The Brian Jonestown Massacre, lead by Anton Newcombe. They used to be close friends but their differing lifestyles and ambitions, especially that of Anton Newcombe, have forced them apart, to the point of being enemies. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

DiG! See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,437, 3 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$127,067, 19 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Interloper Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Courtney Taylor-Taylor is singer of The Dandy Warhols which is one the bands included on the documentary. Taylor-Taylor narrates the film, giving the viewer the idea that the opinions given are his own. See more »

Quotes

Joel Gion: Going up. Top floor. Pantyhose. Illegal drugs and cigarettes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Off
Written by Courtney Taylor-Taylor (as C. Taylor)
Performed by The Dandy Warhols
Published Courtesy Chrysalis Music Limited / Dandy Warhol Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under License from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you'd never heard of Brian Jonestown Massacre you won't forget them after seeing this film
1 July 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

A documentary about two rocks bands, spanning a number of years. Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. What makes it special is the examination of the complex contrasting personalities and the ironies of success and failure.

Anton Newcombe, the main man of Brian Jonestown Massacre, is widely recognised as a musical genius not only by his colleagues, his friends and rivals the Dandy Warhols, but also by record producers and most people who have worked with him. Sadly he and his band members are also incapable of integrating with the real world. Newcombe picks fights with band members on stage or with members of the audience (getting arrested at one point for literally kicking in the head of a fan). Newcombe knows no limits – he plays between 40 and 100 different instruments, writes and produces all BJM's music, can produce enough songs to fill a whole album in a single day, has a prophet-like obsessiveness with his own musical genius, but is also a heavy drugs user, flies into rages at the slightest compromise of his own artistic integrity, orders his band members about as if they are lower forms of life, and can blow deals as fast as he makes them. BJM go through a large number of record labels in fast succession – they sign them up as soon as they realise Newcombe's talents and let them go as soon as they realise he is totally uncontrollable.

The Warhols acknowledge their debt to Newcombe's creativity and don't even put themselves in the same exalted sphere of greatness – but the Warhols have something that BJM don't – the ability to integrate their talents with common sense, the real world, and their market – as a mixing pot of talent (even if much of it is distilled from guru Newcombe) and accessibility, they are the very definition of 'cool.' DiG! follows the parallel careers of the two bands with increasing poignancy. At one point, Newcombe pulls stunts designed to generate publicity by sending apparent death threats and hate messages to the Warhols (in a box containing live ammunition and insults like a bar of soap 'to clean up their act') – only he forgets to tell them it's a stunt and they get so paranoid they take out a restraining order against Newcombe. By the time the Dandy Warhols take off in Europe with hits like 'Every Day Should Be A Holiday' and 'Bohemian Like You', Newcombe is becoming increasingly isolated. BJM are stopped and the band breaks up when they are arrested for possession of marijuana – the Warhols get busted for drugs around the same time, let off with a warning, and even allowed to keep the grass.

The wider appeal of DiG! is that the lessons of genius versus accessibility go way beyond two bands or even rock music. The downside is that it is still a documentary, however intimate, and it will mostly only appeal to dedicated film fans or people who are already interested in the music of one or both of the featured bands. Newcombe may well be a largely unrecognised genius, and there are feint glimpses of this in the film, but to the unattuned ear there is little more than the assertions of the people interviewed to attest to this. In the words of one of the band members: "In every spiritual tradition, you burn in hell for pretending to be God and not being able to back it up." Newcombe isn't pretending – but numerically there are maybe still insufficient people to appreciate him in his own lifetime, and DiG! has an uphill struggle to rectify the balance in favour of a tortured but largely unrecognised genius.


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