Devil and Daniel Johnston

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

4.0 1
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig

Cast: Jeff Feuerzeig, Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston

     
 

A decade after wowing critics with his debut feature Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King, director Jeff Feuerzeig finally delivered his sophomore effort -- a documentary about the life and music of singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston. Using archived film clips and recordings with newly shot footage and interviews, the film paints a detailed and honest…  See more details below

Overview

A decade after wowing critics with his debut feature Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King, director Jeff Feuerzeig finally delivered his sophomore effort -- a documentary about the life and music of singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston. Using archived film clips and recordings with newly shot footage and interviews, the film paints a detailed and honest picture of the tortured genius. The Devil and Daniel Johnston premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Jeff Feuerzeig is a filmmaker with some pretty interesting musical tastes. In 1993, Feuerzeig brought the fascinating tale of little-known band Half Japanese to the screen with Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King. Now, after more than a decade of apparent inactivity, Feuerzeig has returned to filmmaking with a vengeance to tell the tale of the profoundly disturbed musical genius who has strapped on the gloves to literally do battle with his many demons. In The Devil and Daniel Johnston, filmmaker Feuerzeig skillfully manages to saturate the celluloid with the very essence of its compelling protagonist -- and the result is both emotionally exhausting and richly rewarding. Feuerzeig knows well the elated heights to which Johnston has soared and the infernal depth to which the songwriter has fallen, and with this film he allows the viewer to experience both of those extremes firsthand. A tirelessly creative child being raised in a strict Christian home, Johnston found his creativity frowned upon. The older the innovative musician grew, though, the clearer it became that his unique gift for visual arts and songwriting was something that he was simply compelled to nurture at all costs. His early career success hit a disturbing roadblock, however, when after becoming a frequent user of LSD, Johnston began to believe that demons had possessed his family and friends, and were intent on claiming his soul as well. To give any more details about Johnston's strange journey into musical history would be to betray the commendable efforts of the filmmakers. Needless to say, this description of Johnston's life could readily be compared to the tip of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. It's obvious that Feuerzeig has great respect for his subject, and his reverence toward Johnston permeates every frame of the film. Though the director captures all of the magical moments that make a good documentary great, however, it's Johnston's own confessional cassette recordings and faded childhood films that really provide the viewer with a lens to look into the artist's soul. For viewers curious enough to allow the light from that lens to shine back into their retinas, penetrate their brains, and invite Johnston's demons in for a fizzy glass of Mountain Dew, the story of The Devil and Daniel Johnston is as elaborately textured as any majestic tale of rock & roll royalty, and, in the end, twice as tragic.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
No wonder Kurt Cobain was a fan. But it's the way Feuerzeig walks with him on the line between creativity and madness that digs this haunting and hypnotic film into your memory.
New York Times
Jeff Feuerzeig, who won the best-director award at the 2005 Sundance festival, cobbles together a moving portrait of the artist as his own ghost, using a wealth of material provided by Mr. Johnston, from home movies to audiocassette diaries to dozens of original, and often heartbreakingly beautiful, songs. Lawrence Van Gelder
San Francisco Chronicle - Joel Selvin
A one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. This musician may not be a genius along the lines of Brain Wilson, as Feuerzeig claims, but Johnston has a knack for revealing innermost thoughts in an offhand way that is eerie and uncanny.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/19/2006
UPC:
0043396154933
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen, Colorized]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
35,023

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Sundance world premiere featurette; Laurie and Daniel reunion featurette; Legendary WFMU broadcast featurette; Cinema of Daniel Johnston; Daniel's audio diaries; Audio commentary with director Jeff Feuerzeig and producer Henry S. Rosenthal

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Daniel Johnston Participant
Mabel Johnston Participant
Bill Johnston Participant
Kathy McCarty Participant
Jeff Tatrakov Participant
Gibby Haines Participant
Jad Fair Participant
David Fair Participant
Matt Groening Participant

Technical Credits
Jeff Feuerzeig Director,Cinematographer
Harry Clark Cinematographer
Matyas Erdely Cinematographer
Robert Featherstone Cinematographer
Ted Hope Executive Producer
Tyler Hubby Editor
Daniel Johnston Score Composer
Jonah Loop Executive Producer
Fortunato Procopio Cinematographer
Henry Rosenthal Producer
Rights Workshop Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Devil and Daniel Johnston
1. A Bright Beginning [4:44]
2. Star Art Guys [5:14]
3. Problems and Persecution [4:23]
4. Laurie the Muse [3:45]
5. Sorry Films [1:19]
6. Leaving the Nest [5:21]
7. Arrival in Austin [9:05]
8. MTV and LSD [18:52]
9. Famous in NYC [7:56]
10. Take Me Home, West Virginia [8:11]
11. Ups and Downs [8:22]
12. World's Greatest Manager [5:43]
13. Life in Waller [5:41]
14. Art Can Save You [6:16]
15. True Love Will Find You [3:05]
16. Casper Lives - End Credits [7:10]

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The Devil and Daniel Johnston 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago