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The Devil and Daniel Johnston

THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON follows the long and winding road traversed by Daniel Johnston – manic-depressive singer/songwriter/artist – on his way from childhood to manhood in this portrait of madness, creativity and unrequited love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Year: 2005
Time: 110 min
Club Member Rating:
 The Devil and Daniel Johnston
(2005) on IMDb

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Canada: JustWatch
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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to be inspired by its story.

Watch Hi, How Are You: A Short Film, made by Daniel and a few of his devoted fans, released in 2014.

Support the National Alliance on Mental Illness,  an organization that advocates for treatment, services, and support to family members and individuals suffering from mental illness, by participating in a walk or donating to their cause.

Spread the word about indie music you enjoy. Support independent artists directly by visiting their website.

Keep learning! The American Psychological Association offers a wealth of information on how to help a family member with mental illness and how to become educated on the symptoms of varying mental illnesses.

Related Articles and Resources

Secrets of the Creative Brain

“Capturing human mental processes can be like capturing quicksilver. The brain has as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way.”
A leading neuroscientist who has spent decades studying creativity shares her research on where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ—and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness.

Read the full article here.

‘I Know the Darkness’

“In the indie music world, where heroic failure and outsider status are cherished even more than commercial success, Daniel Johnston is a totem […]”

Check out The Guardian reporter Laura Barton’s interview with Daniel Johnston.

What Bipolar Disorder Really Feels Like

“About 2.6 percent of American adults — nearly 6 million people — have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). But the disease, characterized by significant and severe mood changes, is still dangerously misunderstood.”

Find out more on the Huffington Post.

SPOTIFY

Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

Art for Art’s Sake

“The Songwriting Podcast is a monthly music podcast where three hosts revel in the technical and creative aspects of the craft of songwriting, with the help of a guest songwriter or some other music industry professional.” The theme for this episode is Motivation: Creating Art for Art’s Sake, featuring an interview with filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig.

Listen to the podcast here.

INFLUENCE FILM CLUB PLAYLIST

RUN ALONG THE EDGE OF MADNESS…
The following six films allow us a view of the world detached from logic through the eyes of dreamers and madmen.

Man-Child in the Promised Land

A New York Times article about Daniel Johnstons visual career.

Interview With Feuerzeig and Rosenthal

Slant Magazine spoke with director Jeff Feuerzeig, about his history with Johnston, his journey with the film, and some of the gentle controversies that have arisen from this representation of a uniquely flawed, divinely inspired, artist who has burrowed his way into a fanbase so loyal he may never be forgotten.

Read the full interview on Slant Magazine.

The Lo-Fi Genre

“Low fidelity. The natural antithesis of high-fidelity. The name lo-fi was popularized in the late 1980s, as a catch-all for a growing number of punk-inspired musicians recording songs on very cheap, at-home equipment. How it sounds: Bad. And that’s the point. Though many lo-fi artists weren’t doing so by choice, merely using whatever materials and resources were at hand at the time, the genre represents the embrace of limitations.”

Find out more about the Lo-Fi genre here.

10 Brilliant Musicians Who’ve Battled Mental Illness

Explore the list here.

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