It can be frustrating to hear great buzz about a new film and then realize that you have to wait weeks, months, or even years, to see it yourself. Why not transform that frustration into satisfaction by watching the filmmaker's earlier work?
That was my thought as I checked SnagFilms to see what titles they're highlighting for free streaming this week. Ondi Timoner's lastest documentary, We Live in Public, generated good buzz at Sundance in January, prompting James Rocchi to write: "She's crafted a incisive, exciting and thought-provoking examination of the ways our new chances to live in public both make and mar the way we now live." (He also interviewed her along with her subject, Josh Harris.) I'll have to wait to see that one, but in the meantime, I decided to check out her earlier doc, DiG!
Filmed over a period of seven years, DiG! charts the relationship between musicians Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Courtney Taylor of the Dandy Warhols. Timoner peaks in at live performances that sometimes stretched up to 10 hours (in front of 10 people), backstage antics, rehearsal sessions, and photo shoots. She interviews friends, family members, fellow musicians, journalists, and other insiders, providing insight into the music industry and perspective on a true story of supportive friends who became surprising rivals. It's the classic rock 'n' roll cautionary tale, writ large: drug abuse, artistic integrity, self-destructive behavior, constant fighting, wasted talent, and lost opportunities. Rambunctious and sobering, DiG! is completely absorbing.