Archive of films The Devil and Daniel Johnston / The Devil and Daniel Johnston

USA
2005, 109 min

Section: Sundance at Karlovy Vary
Year: 2006

Daniel Johnston, a remarkable figure of the American music scene at the end of the 20th century, was called “the greatest songwriter alive” by Kurt Cobain. Intimate, but urgent, melancholy, but nonetheless engrossing – such is Feuerzeig’s cinematic biography of the woesome musician, which shows that the border between genius and madness is often a thin one.


Synopsis

The first mention of the talented youngster from West Virginia, who wrote hundreds of songs about his unrequited love for a girl named Laurie who married a gravedigger, came at the beginning of the 1980s. Daniel Johnston, a notable figure on the American music scene at the end of the last century, was called “the greatest living songwriter” by Kurt Cobain, and cover versions of his songs have been played by the likes of Tom Waits and Pearl Jam, among others. The blossoming career of this promising, original bard was brought to a standstill however by his frequent manic-depressive tendencies. Today the forty-five-year-old Johnston is still living with his parents. Feuerzeig’s film is a masterful combination of shots from the present and the inexhaustible archive of Johnston’s recordings and home videos. Intimate, but urgent, melancholy, but nonetheless engrossing – such is the film biography of the woesome musician, which shows that the line between genius and madness is often a thin one.

About the director

Jeff Feuerzeig is an independent filmmaker from New York living in Los Angeles, originally an editor by profession. Feuerzeig shoots commercials for Washington Square Films. His feature documentary debut Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King (1994) portrays the rise of an extremely alternative music band. The Chicago Tribune called it “the funniest rock’n’roll film since the time of This Is Spinal Tap”. The Devil and Daniel Johnston is his second motion picture.

Contacts

HanWay Films
24 Hanway Str., W1T 1UH, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 290 0750
E-mail: info@hanwayfilms.com
www: www.hanwayfilms.com

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Sundance at Karlovy Vary
   
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Screenplay: Jeff Feuerzeig
Dir. of Photography: Fortunato Procopio
Music: Daniel Johnston
Editor: Tyler Hubby
Producer: Henry Rosenthal
Production: This Is That Productions
Contact: HanWay Films
   
www: www.thedevilanddanieljohnston.com

Guests

Henry S. Rosenthal

Producer

YouTube

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