The Devil and Daniel Johnston | 2006

Documentary, Music
A documentary portrait of a manic depressive, musical and artistic genius, Daniel Johnston who nearly slipped away.

Cast

... Himself

Actor

... Herself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

... Herself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

... Himself

Actor

Company

Production Company

Production Company

Production Company

Production Company

Production Company

Production Company

Synopsis

Portrait of a manic-depressive genius singer, songwriter and artist, Daniel Johnston. As a reclusive teenager, Johnston began showing signs of unusual artistic ability. He religiously recorded his thoughts and stories onto cassette tapes, directed intuitive Super-8 films starring his siblings, and created expressive comic book-style drawings in the basement of his family's home. In the eyes of his fundamentalist Christian family, however, he simply wasn't contributing to society in a useful or productive way. After running off and joining a carnival, Johnston landed in Austin, Texas, broke and alone. It was there he began to hone his musical career, recording folk songs on a series of homemade, lo-fi cassettes, which Daniel handed out free to fans, friends and journalists in the early '80s. Ultimately, he managed to secure a brief spotlight on MTV with the help of a timely break. Just as he was beginning to make a local name for himself, however, Johnston's inner demons began to surface. His portrait serves as clear depiction of one artist's balancing act between brilliance and madness--a life marked by wild fluctuations, numerous downward spirals, and periodic respites.

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