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"Danielson: a Family movie" is a documentary about unbridled creativity vs. accessibility, Christian faith vs. popular culture, underground music vs. survival, and family vs. individuality. The film follows Daniel Smith, an eccentric musician and visual artist, as he leads his four siblings and best friend to indie rock stardom, eventually facing the struggle to become viable as a solo act. Along the way he mentors an unknown singer-songwriter named Sufjan Stevens whose own subsequent success stands in stark contrast to the music world's uneasy reception of Danielson just a few years prior. Makes use of collage, direct cinema and animation. Written by
It might take the whole movie to "get" eccentric Daniel Smith with his Danielson Family creation. But he does what he sets out to do, make a joyful noise. All though part of time it is quite excruciating to take. And his musical skills..are a lot to be desired.
This documentary takes you on a journey. Exposes you to the indie side of Christian music, a kind of music that anyone can listen too. In a sense, it is what we all thrive to hope for when you go to a Sufjan Stevens concert. Only with voices that echo Neutral Milk Hotel instead.
Sufjan is definitely the bright spot of this movie. He is quite a natural actor even though, it might not have been acting. If you stay with the movie you'll see the dry humor that develops as the band grows and rises to ventures across the pond.
On one hand, I really wish this would have been a total Sufjan Stevens video diary of some of his past tours. Yet, if you drink it in, you'll understand the quest of this eccentric musician.
This isn't a movie for everybody.
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