Danielson: A Family Movie Reviews

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½ July 1, 2007
By far one of the best documentaries that I've seen so far on DVD this year. Also stands toe to toe with "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" (who ironically makes an appearance in this doc) as one of the best music docs that I've ever seen. The struggle to overcome popular misconceptions about Christian music is a great theme that is honestly and unbiasly explored. If anything this deserves a rental just to be exposed to the music of the Danielsons and the unique personalities present. Also to all Sufjan Stevens fans... this is a must see, you'll get to see how he got his start with the Danielsons. This is a must rent for almost anyone.
May 8, 2007
whether i want to see this or not really depends on whether it's a movie about the band Danielson Famile
May 28, 2007
i do love danielson and it was interesting to see sufjan stevens before he got big...to see him treated like a protege(sp?). brother danielson is a tremenous inspiration. but at many times this documentary drags. and to someone who doesn't like sufjan stevens or the danielson family it's almost unbearablely long.
July 4, 2011
A wonderfully inspiring film about music, individualism, artistic integrity and honoring the Creator. Oh, and Sufjan Stevens is in it. And Daniel Johnston makes an appearance. :)
½ October 17, 2010
One of the truly inspiring artists. Christian or not. Also goes into depths on Sufjan that I've never seen before.
June 8, 2009
Danielson: A Family Movie is an unexpectedly fascinating documentary about The Danielson Famile, a faith-based indie rock group from Clarksboro, New Jersey. Daniel Smith is the charismatic frontman and muse of the band, which is comprised of an ever-changing mixture of his siblings and friends. Daniel would no doubt balk at the flattering description of himself. In his eyes, he's simply a cipher for God's creativity. He describes himself as the kid helping his Dad change a flat tire; he doesn't really get to change the flat, but he feels like he's involved anyway.

Funny thing is...I believe him. He's being completely sincere. For me, this is the kicker. I don't have a whole lot of love for Christian Rock. I've found the label applies primarily to disingenuous groups with mediocre talent who exploit a built-in fanbase. Oddly, I think Daniel Smith would agree. He refuses to be pigeonholed so easily. His music has an organic, unpolished brightness about it. It's mildly punky, a little folksy, and most assuredly unique. I'm reminded of Modest Mouse, Daniel Johnston, and The B-52's. The sound grows on you like a warm rash. The band sports nurses costumes, meant to signify the healing power of Christ, that lends them a wacky, unsettling uniformity. Wacky because, like The B-52's with their bouffant hair-do's, the look is intentionally kitschy. Unsettling because I can't help but think of fascism and Christianity.

But now I'm projecting. When I hear Daniel Smith speak, I think of Marilyn Manson. I mean this as a compliment. Marilyn Manson tries so hard aesthetically to distance himself from the main-stream that it comes as a shock when you hear him in an interview. He's soft-spoken, gracious, intelligent, poised, and objective. Daniel Smith carries himself with the same mien. He wins you over with his lack of pretension. In short, I'm a fan. I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but there it is. Sometimes I just gotta shut up and listen to the music.
May 11, 2007
all in all, it was enjoyable, but it serves more as an introductory piece. if you've known about danielson for years, you probably won't learn much new here.
the sound mixing didn't seem especially good on the dvd, which isn't great with a music documentary. also, there was way too much sufjan, but luckily it never became about sufjan.
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