Sunday, September 17, 2006

Devil & Daniel Johnston

The Devil and Daniel Johnston -ok I have seen this movie before(Jandek/Wesley Willis promo reel/Rodney on the Roq)- but this movie about the creative outsider artist Daniel Johnston was well done and kept my interest the whole time.Mixing his drawings,home movies and cassette recordings with recollections by his friends and family.A lifelong Beatles fan -he started by writing songs and playing them on his piano- then he moved to Austin and switched to guitar- his approach to music is very stripped down- and not an easy listen at first- but when he is in the zone- there is a simple beauty to his pain-his voice while not conventially pretty or always pitch-perfect is so honest and bracing that it reeled me right in.The movie captured his brief glimpses into fame( hijacking a MTV BBQ and getting his name out) to his struggles with his manic depression - including a harrowing plane ride with his father.The DVD has some great extras also- including 3 of Daniel's early short films,his first meeting with his college muse in a decade and an broadcast on WFMU.A good documentary with tons of extras. B+

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