Reviews

The Devil And Daniel Johnston

4

As this necessarily disorientating but soothingly optimistic archive-trawl underlines, 45-year-old Daniel Johnston’s talent has always managed to shine through the terrifyingly dark times that have segmented his life and career. Director Jeff Feuerzeig has amassed such a treasure-trove of gig footage, scratchy answerphone messages, family talking-heads and (crucially) wobbly camcorder reels for his film that he really can’t have had any bonus material left for this extra-free DVD. Intimate but never voyeuristic, this powerfully sober biopic makes one point with abundant clarity: Johnston is still known chiefly for his art and music, despite once deliberately crashing a light aircraft after mistaking the pilot for Satan. If there is a devil in Daniel Johnston then at least he really did give him all the best tunes.

 

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