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Theatrical release poster
Directed byOndi Timoner
Written byOndi Timoner
Produced byOndi Timoner
StarringAnton Newcombe
Courtney Taylor-Taylor
CinematographyVasco Nunes
David Timoner
Ondi Timoner
Edited byOndi Timoner
Distributed byPalm Pictures
Release date
  • 18 January 2004 (2004-01-18)
Running time
107 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$127,067[1]

Dig! is a 2004 American documentary film about the collision of art and commerce through the eyes of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, focusing on the developing careers and the love-hate relationship of the bands' respective frontmen Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Anton Newcombe. It was shot over seven years and compiled from over 2,500 hours of footage. It won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection.


The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Dandy Warhols
Additional cast

Band member reactions[edit]

Taylor-Taylor, Newcombe and Warhols guitarist Peter Holmstrom have all criticized the film as being unfair in its portrayal of Newcombe and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.[2][3][4] On The Brian Jonestown Massacre's official website the film was denounced as reducing several years of hard work to "at best a series of punch-ups and mishaps taken out of context, and at worst bold faced lies and misrepresentation of fact."[5] Courtney Taylor-Taylor said in an interview: "It's a movie, not a documentary [...] She worked her ass off and forged a plot when there was no plot. She crafted the thing to swell and ebb by taking eight years of us and a year and a half of the Brian Jonestown Massacre".[6] Holmstrom was generally displeased with the film initially, citing Timoner's use of footage that he claims "was not to be used" as a reason, but has maintained that "it's still a good film", though one "I would have done differently".[4] Dandy Warhols drummer Brent DeBoer noted the film could have easily been a "feel-good story", but instead a few rare moments were specifically chosen to give the film a "Jerry Springer"-type storyline.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was generally very well received critically. It currently has an approval rating of 90% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 70 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star? Dig! compellingly chronicles the ups and downs of the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, two ambitious bands whose love/hate relationship embodies many of the potential pratfalls of the music business."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

BBC Movies called it "[e]rratic, tragic, and absolutely hilarious", saying, "Dig! is fantastic filmmaking" that "works as both a savagely funny rockumentary and a sardonic comment on the politics of selling out."[9] An Empire review described its subject as the "microcosm of ‘indie’ music on the cusp of corporate take-over" and the film as "the perfect parable of the 1990s music industry" portraying a "riveting... mêlée of spiraling egos", also giving it a five-star rating.[10]

Allmovie, while giving the film a generally positive review, criticized the film's emphasis, writing "DIG! isn't as concerned with differences in the groups' musical styles (few songs are heard for more than a few bars at a time) as it is with personalities and interpersonal conflict. In this regard, it echoes the purportedly superficial concerns of the fickle industry it depicts, and it's not entirely clear whether this is Timoner's intent [...] In the end, the music should matter more than it apparently does."[11]

PopMatters gave the film a mixed review, commenting that "The film is less effective at conveying the genius of Anton Newcombe than the madness, possibly because the latter only requires a camera and Anton himself" but ultimately called it "fascinating" as a "behind-the-music-scenes glimpse".[12]


  1. ^ "Dig!". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  2. ^ Sylvie Simmons (10 June 2005). "'I am not a movie'". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b Dan Reilly (21 July 2009). "'Dandy Warhols Call 'Dig!' a 'Dishonest' Documentary'". Spinner. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b Alex Steininger (May 2005). "Dig! The Movie: The Dandy Warhols' guitarist Peter Holmstrom discusses Dig!, the movie about The Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre". In Music We Trust. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  5. ^ Anton Newcombe. "dig statement". brianjonestownmassacre.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  6. ^ Alex Hannafoud (22 August 2005). "Fine And Dandy". The Big Issue. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Dig! (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Dig! Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  9. ^ Jamie Russell (28 June 2005). "Dig! (2005)". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Empire's DiG! Movie Review". empireonline.com. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  11. ^ Josh Ralske. "Dig! (2003)". Allmovie. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Dig! (2004)". PopMatters. 1 October 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Succeeded by