Archive for Ondi Timoner

Dig!

Posted in Film, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by joeshervin
Unearth Dig! at pitchfork.com this week

Unearth Dig! at pitchfork.com this week

Available for free, for one week only, thanks to pitchfork.com, is the engrossing 2004 documentary Dig!, a raucous insight into the egotistical, self-aggrandising, yet ultimately spell-binding profiles of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. Filmmaker Ondi Timoner collated almost seven years worth of material, stretched across both bands, charting the simultaneous rise of the Dandys and the dramatic self-destruction of the BJM, as both endeavoured, with drastically differing success, to revolutionise the money-manacled, market-driven music industry.

At its core, Dig! parallels the careers of the bands front men, the scuppered genius of the BJM’s Anton Newcombe, and Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the Dandys self-obsessed, image-conscious talisman. Beginning their respective careers as friends and peers, both seem seduced by the others charms, yet obsessed by the success of each others band. As the Dandys take off, Newcombe appears begrudgingly jealous of Taylor-Taylor’s exposure, whilst Taylor-Taylor remains constantly in awe of Newcombe’s boundless and effortless creativity. As the Dandys tour Europe, playing to thousands of expectant fans, the BJM scuttle across America in a battered van, performing for mere tens of bemused, beer-drenched barflys.

Yet, it is Newcombe who is the pivotal anti-hero throughout. An unashamedly, devastatingly talented musician, he is as equally obnoxious as he is compelling. A rampant heroin addiction overshadows his intense charisma. His self-prophesising selfishness outweighs his musical prolificacy. Whether he be attacking his band mates on stage or fighting his girlfriend at home, Newcombe seems hell-bent on destroying not only his bands chances at stardom, but his personal relationships too. It is a touching portrayal of a man so consumed in his own warped rock n’ roll cliché that his talent is kept at arms length from mass circulation.

At once engaging, funny and traumatic, Dig! is a must-see for any aspiring musicians looking to break into the industry, but wanting to also keep their musical morals intact. If you don’t catch Dig! at pitchfork.com this week, be sure to unearth this buried treasure in the very near future.