Will rip your heart right out of your chest and crush your soul and somehow still make you glad you watched it. Which is sort of how you feel when you listen to Johnston's music, when you think to yourself "wow, okay, this kind of genius does exist, and it can't really exist without madness and crippling loneliness and gallons of tears."
Excellent documentary examines the complicated life and personality of one of the most fascinating figures in recent pop culture. Whatever your opinion of Daniel Johnston and his art, director Jeff Feuerzeig finds just the right blend of style, pathos, and ambiguity to make this one of the most intriguing and poignant character studies, documentary or otherwise.
it's so sad to see a beautiful and creative human being strive so much against a mental illness. this movie really broke my heart, my tears were about to fall every time and i tried to hold them back... but at the same time it filled me with hope with the little dance dan did at the very end :) at least he seems better and happier now. love you daniel!
I watched this without previous knowledge of his work and it totally worked for me. I'm very impressed. Daniel Johnston is very talented and has an intense mind. You can see this through the film and it'll leave you wanting for more.
A solid exploration of art and mental illness. The helicopter story where Daniel thinks he is Casper is one of those pop culture stories that has permanently stuck with me since first seeing this documentary. The level of documentation is amazing. There seems to be a bit of a problem with how much hero worship Daniel receives versus how flawed he is as a person, and I wish the doc would have explored this a bit more.
The movie does a good job of raising questions about the nature of Johnston's celebrity and how his mental illness is both exoticized and exploited. Bands and fans looking for something 'authentic' are drawn to him, despite clear signs that he is not well. Parts of the movie are heartbreaking, especially when we get to hear from his parents. In the end, by watching the movie itself I felt a bit complicit and uneasy.