Watch: The Devil and Daniel Johnston 2005 123movies, Full Movie Online – 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 exploring how bipolar disorder and schizophrenia distorted his behavior and informed his haunting work..
Plot: This 2005 documentary film chronicles the life of Daniel Johnston, a manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist, from childhood up to the present, with an emphasis on his mental illness and how it manifested itself in demonic self-obsession.
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Genius and Madness
Many of the great artists of history have suffered from some form of mental disorder, and we often find ourselves fascinated both by their brilliance and their madness. Of course, as this documentary points out, none of us ever had to actually live with a Van Gogh or a Lord Byron and deal with the real world consequences of what went on in their heads.
In The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Jeff Feuerzeig gives us a rare glimpse into the tortured mind of just such brilliant artist by effectively combining interviews from those who have known Daniel Johnston best with Johnston’s own internal monologue. Feuerzeig achieves the latter because, apart from recording hundreds of songs on cassette tapes, Daniel recorded much of his life; from his mother screaming at him as a teenager to his arrest by park officials for painting Jesus fish on the Statue of Liberty to Johnston reading aloud about his own mental illness from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Many people came to know Daniel Johnston’s work in the early 90s when Kurt Cobain famously called him the “greatest songwriter on Earth” and wore a t-shirt with an image from one of Johnston’s hand-drawn album covers on the MTV Video Music Awards. Johnston’s raw and introspective songs were subsequently covered by Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, Beck, and many others. Sadly, just as his music was making inroads into the popular consciousness Johnston’s mental illness worsened (possibly accelerated by heavy LSD use), and his career and life entered increasingly troubled waters.
The Devil and Daniel Johnston works as a documentary about music, art, and mental illness all at the same time. It grants you unusual access to what’s going on inside a the mind of a human being bursting with creative talent while simultaneously struggling to control the demons that haunt him. After watching this, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to hear more of Daniel Johnston’s work.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 50 min (110 min)
Genre Documentary, Biography, Music
Director Jeff Feuerzeig
Writer Jeff Feuerzeig
Actors Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston
Country United States
Awards 2 wins & 3 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Laboratory FotoKem Laboratory, Burbank (CA), USA
Film Length 3,000 m (Portugal, 35 mm)
Negative Format 16 mm, 8 mm
Cinematographic Process Super 16, Super 8
Printed Film Format 35 mm (spherical) (blow-up) (Kodak Vision Premier 2393)