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The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,250 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 39 user | 92 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Daniel Johnston ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laurie Allen ...
Herself
Brian Beattie ...
Himself
Louis Black ...
Himself
David Fair ...
Himself
Jad Fair ...
Himself
Don Goede ...
Himself
...
Himself
Gibby Haynes ...
Himself
Sally Johnston Reid ...
Herself
Bill Johnston ...
Himself
Dick Johnston ...
Himself
Mabel Johnston ...
Herself
Margie Johnston ...
Herself
Ken Lieck ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content, and language including a sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Daniel Johnston találkozása az ördöggel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,192 (USA) (31 March 2006)

Gross:

$332,261 (USA) (11 August 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Daniel Johnston: I never met a girl I didn't meet.
See more »

Connections

References Happy Days (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

"Don't Play Cards With Satan'
Written by Daniel Johnston
Performed by Daniel Johnston
Published by Eternal Yip Eye Music (BMI)
Administered by BUG Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genius and Madness
6 March 2006 | by (Columbia, Missouri USA) – See all my reviews

Many of the great artists of history have suffered from some form of mental disorder, and we often find ourselves fascinated both by their brilliance and their madness. Of course, as this documentary points out, none of us ever had to actually live with a Van Gogh or a Lord Byron and deal with the real world consequences of what went on in their heads.

In The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Jeff Feuerzeig gives us a rare glimpse into the tortured mind of just such brilliant artist by effectively combining interviews from those who have known Daniel Johnston best with Johnston's own internal monologue. Feuerzeig achieves the latter because, apart from recording hundreds of songs on cassette tapes, Daniel recorded much of his life; from his mother screaming at him as a teenager to his arrest by park officials for painting Jesus fish on the Statue of Liberty to Johnston reading aloud about his own mental illness from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Many people came to know Daniel Johnston's work in the early 90s when Kurt Cobain famously called him the "greatest songwriter on Earth" and wore a t-shirt with an image from one of Johnston's hand-drawn album covers on the MTV Video Music Awards. Johnston's raw and introspective songs were subsequently covered by Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, Beck, and many others. Sadly, just as his music was making inroads into the popular consciousness Johnston's mental illness worsened (possibly accelerated by heavy LSD use), and his career and life entered increasingly troubled waters.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston works as a documentary about music, art, and mental illness all at the same time. It grants you unusual access to what's going on inside a the mind of a human being bursting with creative talent while simultaneously struggling to control the demons that haunt him. After watching this, don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to hear more of Daniel Johnston's work.


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