movie film review | chris tookey


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  DiG! Review
Tookey's Rating
4 /10
Average Rating
7.69 /10
Courtney Taylor, Anton Newcombe, Zia McCabe
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Directed by: Ondi Timoner
Written by: Ondi Timoner

Released: 2004
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 107

Dig! is meant to be the story of two rock bands, but ends up as a cautionary tale about drug abuse. The more sensible, self-improving and successful of the two groups is the Dandy Warhols, and the movie is narrated by their lead singer, Courtney Taylor (pictured). But the film is centrally about the Spinal Tap-style self-destructiveness of their less successful but arguably more talented friend, Anton Newcombe, and the almost equally maladjusted members of his band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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One central flaw with the film is that it never persuades us of its central premise: that Newcombe is a genius. On the contrary, he comes across as an obnoxious, posturing ninny with a major drug habit and mental problems so obvious itís impossible to understand why someone doesnít have him tested for schizophrenia, an ailment from which his absentee father admits to suffering.

Technically, the film is very messy. Much of it is out of focus, with terrible sound. And a rock film that doesnít contain good rock music is obviously going to be at a disadvantage.

The film covers seven years in extraordinary detail, and you have to admire the way director Ondi Timoner seems to have been always around to capture the latest onstage brawl, drugs arrest or temper tantrum. However, I couldnít help but wonder if her time might not have been better spent.

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