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1,592 Ratings

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig
United States, 2005


Daniel Johnston is a manic depressive, defiantly lo-fi, cult singer/songwriter/artist, whose work has proved inspirational to fans and musicians alike. Mixing archive material and his prodigious films, drawings and music, Johnston is revealed in this portrait of madness, creative genius, and love.

Our take

This remarkable documentary is a loving look at an unusually inspired yet unusually tormented musical talent. Blending various sources, including home movies and performances, Jeff Feuerzeig’s inspired use of Daniel Johnston’s personal records and footage snagged him a Directing Award at Sundance.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig
Feuerzeig cobbles together a moving portrait of the artist as his own ghost, using a wealth of material provided by Mr. Johnston, from home movies to audiocassette diaries to dozens of original, and often heartbreakingly beautiful, songs.
March 31, 2006
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The songs are so nervously alive that it’s hard to distance yourself from the fragile soul who wrote them. Johnston’s pulse beats so close to the surface that its thrumming is sometimes difficult to bear.
March 31, 2006
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Shot mostly on richly hued Super 16 and stitching together a chaotic life with nary a seam showing, Jeff Feuerzeig’s tremendous documentary runs on the motive force of intelligent fandom and radiates an ineffable grace.
March 28, 2006
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