It looks to me more as if Johnston's parents are the luckiest thing that has ever happened to him, as they care for him on his good days and his impossible ones. The music is fascinating, seemingly incompetent at first, but more and more beautiful as you get a chance to really listen to the lyrics. But not only is the story of this dangerously manic depressive artist fascinating, the execution of the storytelling by Mr. If you're befuddled by the accolades thrown Johnston's way, think of how radical the Sex Pistols sounded next to Fleetwood Mac. Over the course of four years, Feuerzeig cobbled all of these artifacts together, along with some very moving interviews with friends and family, and the result is an imaginative and at times heartbreaking tribute to Johnston's life and work. My first reaction to the film is that Fox Searchlight is the perfect studio to release this film, since for all intents and purposes, this is a real-life version of Napoleon Dynamite and the cult audience, which Searchlight built for Napoleon as effectively as any movie studio ever has, is ripe for the embrace of this movie. If there is a masterpiece at Sundance this year, it's Jeff Feuerzeig's The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
While I tend to scurry home after my fourth screening of the day to finish transcribing an interview or drafting a piece, Ray is the late-night master of free food and free stuff, and every time he drags out his latest goody bag packed with odds and ends, I examine its contents jealously. After the second screening John C. . Want to watch '' in the comfort of your own home? It proved to be well worth the wait, and Feuerzeig proved he had the patience to sort through piles of confessional audiotapes, home movies, artwork and hundreds of odd but impossibly catchy songs. It'll help you better deal with the guy who thinks that Daniel Johnston is better than Brian Wilson.
His music grew a cult following after he moved to Austin Texas and began handing out tapes to everyone he met. Johnston and his family, including his elderly parents, attended the film's premiere, watching Feuerzeig's documentary for the first time. About half way through this film, I started thinking about how many horrible films we are about to see being submitted to and sometimes accepted by film festivals that are based on the home videos that have become ubiquitous in the era of relatively cheap video cameras. Sometimes, one event can make the entire trip to a far-flung film festival worthwhile. When can we see a trailer? Today Daniel Johnston is a cult hero in the art world. Born in 1961, Daniel Johnston grew up in west Virginia obsessively documenting his own life with super-8 cameras and tape recorders from which this documentary draws much of its footage. I think he is on the autistic spectrum and originally had aspergers, but lack of understanding of his condition due to mis-diagnosis, accompanied by his drug use made his condition worse.
Feuerzeig uses lots and lots of taped dialogue over which he fearlessly loads visual imagery, never stuck to the traditional style of dealing with taped info. Four years in the making, the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, brings a reality to the mental illness not only the suffering eyes of the afflicted, but also of those who love him. So why is The Devil and Daniel Johnston so amazing? Feuerzeig is elegant and complex, incredibly showy without ever seeming to try to be more interesting than the film's subject. Logged Devil Guest Check out the Daniel Johnston section. Johnston is an acquired taste you have to understand the aesthetics of indie-rock. At the premiere Toby McGuire was seated 3 seats from Daniel and was heard to say that it was the best documentary he had ever seen. Though he ended up in a mental hospital for a time, a bidding war grew over his music and his career continued.
Incredibly enough, when Johnston gained recognition, editors from Spin and other magazines would call him at McDonald's, since he didn't have a phone at home. But the skill Feuerzeig shows here is just amazing, bringing the barren melancholia, as well as the humor of Johnston's work to us in a way that makes the emotional experience unavoidable. His music is for people who thinks Jonathan Richman doesn't keep it real enough. This is a guy who obsesses on Casper The Friendly Ghost and Captain America, but raises their artistry to new levels in a way we are used to seeing from Warhol or Basquiat. At one point, his belief that the rock band Metallica was possessed by the devil kept him from signing a record deal with Elektra records. And of course, there is the subject. Daniel Johnston is exposed through personal audio and video footage he and others took of him, pieces of his live performances, and interviews with his parents, friends, family and other musicians that know him.
Tracking down a streaming service to buy, rent, download, or watch the Jeff Feuerzeig-directed movie via subscription can be confusing, so we here at Moviefone want to help you out. But after an hour or so of this film, I was not only aware, I was a believer. Some loved it and others didn't. Reilly Boogie Nights and Mr. The Devil and Daniel Johnston is an honest documentary of the life and music of the tormented genius Daniel Johnston. Crumb's brother Charles, who almost never left his bedroom in his mother's home, and whose drawings and notebooks, Robert Crumb says, inspired him. I was one of those who didn't know about Daniel Johnston's genius career.
His artwork first got publicity when Cobain wore one of his T-shirts for weeks on end whether it was always the same shirt the movie neglects to say , and his drawings of devils, crucifixes and eyeballs, especially eyeballs, have become famous in some circles. Despite the loyalty it inspires, Daniel Johnston's music does not seem to deserve quite the level of praise he has received. Johnston has recorded more than 10 full-length albums and amassed a prolific portfolio of sketches, and has among his supporters Matt Groening, David Bowie, Sonic Youth, Beck, and Tom Waits. During a trip in his dad's private airplane, he caused a crash that could have killed them both. After scarfing down a dish of mini-ravioli between screenings, I've taken to calling our kitchen the Chef Boyardee Lounge.
It's amazing how many people wrote off this doc because of the catalog description. This is the tale of a man who is deeply loved by the people in his life… and who have to put up with a great deal of trouble created by his illness. He is totally a genius in what he was interested in, as are most people with aspergers. I think he is on the autistic spectrum and originally had aspergers, but lack of understanding of his condition due to mis-diagnosis, accompanied by his drug use made his condition worse. Feuerzeig has only made one other film, a dozen years ago, about the band Half-Japanese… one member of which, by no coincidence, had collaborated with Daniel Johnston. It is exceptionally well paced except for the last 5 or 10 minutes that drag a bit , and very informative.
They were clearly moved by the experience, remaining motionless in their seats as the rest of the audience filtered out. Daniel Johnston is a 43-year-old outsider singer-songwriter and manic depressive who has built a cult following since his early days in the mid-1980s performing in Austin, Texas while simultaneously holding down a day job at McDonald's. I clicked on the above link and it's still not easy to find Daniel. That means there must be a masseuse back there, and a few extra pitchers of beer as well. There is a line that sometimes runs between genius and madness, sometimes encircles them. Not only do you come to really respect his work in this film, you find a form of love for this damaged soul.
This is a guy who is considered a genius, but who has lived with his parents for most of his life. He made a crucial early decision to move away from the piano, which he could play, to the guitar, which he has not mastered. This wonderful documentary exposes the lighter side and vastly darker side of Daniel Johnston. The result is superb: a complex and balanced portrait that celebrates and reveals a character who has remained an enigma for years. Feuerzeig's film is the latest quality example of the new genre of Self-Verite Documentaries.