Born January 22, 1961, the late Daniel Johnston began expressing himself through art as a child while doctors struggled to accurately diagnose his unusual behavior. In addition to drawing prolifically, he began using a boombox record curiously stirring songs to cassette tape in high school. Following his brother to Texas, he eventually landed in Austin, working unskilled jobs while continuing to record and self-distribute music to friends and friendly strangers. It was clear to everyone that Daniel was not a typical artist - a disquieting innocence, with references to both light and dark spiritual forces, were evident throughout his work. It was this distinctive voice that compelled local musicians to share his art beyond Austin's city limits, culminating in respected indie musicians like Tom Waits, Beck, and Wilco to either record his songs or reach out to collaborate. Four years in the making, THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON honors the complex artistry of Daniel Johnston while ...Written by
The Story Of An Artist Or Frankenstien Vs. The World
Wasn't a fan, before this. I was coming in because I heard it was good movie, in of itself, and it is, it's a great, haunting and hilarious documentary. I don't think Daniel Johnston is the greatest living song-writer, but I can see a definite line of influences that can be traced back to his music and sensibilities, that are important enough.
Whether or not you like his music or art, isn't really the point, it's an amazing story, of love, fame, madness, art, religion, family, and community (it takes a village to raise a child, and an small army to keep Johnstn just alive and functioning, not to mention getting his work distributed).
Though in the end it's more bittersweet, than tragic, Jonston's still alive, living with his parents, writing songs to a girl he hasn't seen since college, jamming with kids off the street, and of course, fighting off the devil.
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