2004 has become the year of the rock doc. Overall, documentaries have attained some crossover to mainstream appeal over the past couple years, but this year alone we've already had Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and the still-playing End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. Now we're being rewarded with a third film, this one telling the story of two bands with less notoriety but whose story is just as compelling. DIG! won this year's Sundance Film Festival Documentary Grand Jury Prize, and after having the chance to see the film Monday night, I can understand why.
Let me just say up front: go see this movie. Go see it this weekend. At least if you're in New York (at the Sunshine) or LA (at the Nuart). I don't say this because Palm Pictures was nice enough to let me into the premiere (and party after – Red Stripe, yum); I've been to plenty of screenings that I happily and enthusiastically pan. (The Brown Bunny anyone?) But DIG! is an eminently watchable film, and a perfect example of what makes a great rock documentary. More importantly, though, this is the kind of no-budget indie film that any movie lover should want to support and encourage, and the only way to do so is not just to buy a ticket but to do so on the movie's opening weekend. For better or worse, the future expansion to other cities will be heavily dependent on how the film does in New York and LA this weekend. If there's box office, there's buzz. And if there's buzz, other cities will get it, and the film can receive the attention it deserves.
Besides, what else are you going to see this weekend? Yeah, I'm anxiously awaiting an opportunity to go see I ♥ Huckabees (thanks low culture) too, but you can see that second. On Sunday even. And other than that, if you're incredibly excited to see Ladder 49 or don't feel like you can wait a couple days for Shark Tale, well you need some help. Rush out to DIG! first.