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Danielson: A Family Movie (or, Make a Joyful Noise Here) (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 11 March 2006 (USA)
"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.... See full summary »


J.L. Aronson




Credited cast:
Steve Albini ... Self
Brandon Ebel Brandon Ebel ... Self
David Garland David Garland ... Self
Daniel Johnston ... Self
Kramer Kramer ... Self
Rick Moody Rick Moody ... Self
Chris Palladino Chris Palladino ... Self
Melissa Palladino Melissa Palladino ... Self
Jay Ruttenberg Jay Ruttenberg ... Self
Andrew Smith Andrew Smith ... Self
Daniel Smith Daniel Smith ... Self
Elin Smith Elin Smith ... Self
Lenny Smith Lenny Smith ... Self
Lilly Smith Lilly Smith ... Self
Marian Smith Marian Smith ... Self


"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 Creative Arson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Produced independently with no capital investment from the Danielson Famile, its record label or any other third party. See more »


Features Salesman (1969) See more »


Written and Performed by Sufjan Stevens
c. New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
See more »

User Reviews

Its a different kind of Christian music sensation
29 August 2007 | by felicityzoeSee all my reviews

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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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

11 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Europe No 1, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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