Dig! * Ondi Timoner (2004)

This is a joined documentary about the upcoming poprock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. I am not too informed about popmusic, nor of the “indie” kind, but the name of The Dandy Warhols sounds familiar, but the other does not ring a bell. This is exactly the background of this documentary. There were two “visionary” musicians, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor, who became friends and, especially over the years, rivals. Newcombe founded the ‘band’ The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Taylor The Dandy Warhols. Both had similar ideas about the world and about the art of music, but where Taylor is more of a group-player and more serious about his aim to create a (musical) revolution, Newcombe is a megalomanic egocentric person who is impossible to work with. Even though initiately it seemed the Brian’s star who rose rapidly, Newcombe saw to it that they did not become a very successfull band. Somewhat later the Warhols came to fame, especially when some telecom company used a song of theirs in a commercial. Timoner had followed both bands for 7 years making 1500 hours of footage. This is turned into an enjoyable 100 minute documentary. The focus shifts from one band to another making it hard to follow sometimes. The documentary is narrated by Taylor, thus creating some sort of ode to the band they owe their success to. “Dig!” consists of interviews with the band members, labels, managers, etc. and of course a lot of footage from tours, privat affairs and shows. The only thing that I regret is that the focus does not lay so much on the music, but on the characters. There could (should) have been a lot more music in “Dig!”. For the rest, an enjoyable peek into the world of popmusic.

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