Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
Incorporating her camera unobtrusively into the alternative rock world, filmmaker Ondi Timoner spent seven years documenting the criss-crossing careers of two bands and emerged with a classic narrative of art and commerce.
“Like egotism, insanity is only an aid to show-biz success, not a guarantee of it, as you’ll learn from Ondi Timoner’s DIG! The Brian Jonestown Massacre is an LA collective led by Anton Newcombe, a severely disturbed individual with a dipso-suicide dad, an overwhelmed mom, [and] an obsession with 60s music/sideburns… Portland’s Dandy Warhols are led by the narrator of the film, Courtney Taylor, who wants to be Anton but lacks the madness. Cutting back/forth/together, Timoner smoothly tracks the transition from friendship to rivalry, as one party massacres itself while the other ascends on its dandy charm. Without straining, DIG! touchingly marks the lines between cult idol and pop star… And the players are so tangible, so attractive and so much what they are that DIG! may inspire a pop cult itself, perhaps improbably succeeding in making hipness hip again.” — Greg Burk, LA Weekly
“The fascination of DIG!... is that it invites those of us who aren’t alt-rock obsessives into the hive, yet it never feels like a dilettante’s tour. Ondi Timoner, who directed and edited the film, gets right up into the pores of the post-grunge demimonde: the ego clashes, the scramble for recognition, the stoned squatters’ lifestyle, the eternal crusade to stay ‘pure.’” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly