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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hi, How Are You?

posted by on April 15 at 12:30 PM


Since the movie has been out for a year, The Devil and Daniel Johnston has been praised plenty for so successfully portraying the mind, the heart, the friends, and the family of the crazy genius named Daniel Johnston. But despite the consistent glowing reviews for the film, I didn’t get around to watching it until this past week. Now, I can’t shake it; it was a very moving documentary.

Here’s what Annie Wagner had to say about it:

The movie smoothly suggests that no matter how controlling Johnston’s friends and family may seem, they’re working for a cause they believe in. Johnston, meanwhile, does his part to disrupt the easy equation of madness and genius by enthusiastically witnessing at a hipster-packed in-store on behalf of the Lord.

The documentary is hopeful and disturbingópart celebration of Johnston’s achievements, part warning to keep your delusional bipolar friends off acid.

The movie’s most heart-breaking moment, and the moment that it all hit home for me, was when Johnston’s mother sadly said at the end “I guess I want the impossible; I want Daniel to be whole.”

So if you, like me, have always always managed to skip over it at the movie store (or Netflix or whatever), perhaps this weekend is your weekend to change that. It’s Sunday, and the Modest Mouse show is sold out. What else are you gonna do?

RSS icon Comments


I loved this movie as well, it's excellent. Obviously he's got problems, but the stories of his inappropriate jokes at recent shows really bums me out, and I don't really want to listen to him anymore.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 15, 2007 10:28 PM

Did you watch the extras? Especially where he is reunited with the girl that inspired him all those years again? Fucking waterworks, man. Totally out there. Their conversation goes in and out of normalcy. Check it, if you haven't.

Posted by Phil Petrocelli | April 15, 2007 10:56 PM

I didn't get to the extras yet, no. Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to have some kleenex near by too.

Posted by Megan Seling | April 16, 2007 10:08 AM

Back in '91, a band I was in covered a Daniel Johnston song. It's included on the first (i think) single compilation by the amazing Little Teddy Records out of Munich.
Our recording began with a 5 second or so sample of a ping-pong ball being hit back and forth.

Posted by groot | April 16, 2007 3:53 PM

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