Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

"I know Daniel's going to heaven, because after looking at these, I know he's already been to hell."
-- Psychiatrist reviewing pages of drawings done by Daniel Johnston

The past year I've been on a documentary kick. I've seen some good ones, and some others that should be ground up, mixed with paper pulp, wrapped onto a cardboard spindle and hung beside the toilet just so there could be some sort of contribution for its existence.

But I digress.

A great friend of mine told me to go rent this.:

So I did.


The Devil and Daniel Johnston is a hell (no pun intended) of a documentary. To see the gradual mental decline of someone... to watch old footage blended with new footage; to hear agony wept into lyrical tears... it's heart wrenching on so many levels, but amazing at the same time.

The sheer body of his work is staggering. His delusions horrifying. To look backward and see the trail of his life and how he got to where he's at now is like looking at a trail of broken toys a toddler has discarded after a long afternoon.

A tortured genius doesn't come close.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just added this to my NetFlix queue. Thank you for the review.

11:53 AM  

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