The Devil and Daniel Johnston Reviews
Daniel Johnston fue diagnosticado con psicosis maníaco-depresiva, su espiral de locura fue agravada por su consumo de sustancias psicoactivas, y aún así fue capaz de expresarse artísticamente mediante sus dibujos, sus canciones, sus poemas. No es el mejor cantante del mundo sin duda alguna, pero es muy sincero. Sus composiciones son muy básicas pero a la vez muy hermosas. El sigue vivo en algún lugar de Texas, buceando en su locura.
Este documental no omite ningún detalle y a veces es incomodo de ver, especialmente el sufrimiento de Daniel. A pesar de todo lo que pasa, mantiene una inocencia infantil ante la vida. Las situaciones en las cuales se encuentra, tienden a ser casi surreales, por ejemplo cuando va a la estatua de la libertad y pinta un grafiti y es arrestado, o el incidente donde en uno de sus episodios eufóricos, entra a la casa de una anciana y la asusta de tal modo que salta de la ventana y termina con dos piernas rotas.
A pesar de todos sus problemas, es fascinante ver la reacción que provoca en las personas alrededor. Por ejemplo, su manager, quien lo dio todo para verlo triunfar. Daniel decide despedirlo luego de rechazar un contrato musical, el cual lo hubiese convertido en una estrella., y este cae en una profunda depresión, pero nunca deja de creer en su talento y decide dedicarse a distribuir su música para que llega a un mayor publico.
El culto a Daniel Johnston no solo se debe a su talento, sino a su vulnerabilidad. Cuando se monta en el escenario, pone al descubierto sus secretos mas oscuros y cada vez que canta, su voz expresa todos los sentimientos que la mayoría de las personas no se atrevería decir en voz alta. Es esta cualidad tan rara que lo hace un personaje inolvidable independientemente si te gusta su música o no.
This film follows his life from a curious, young artist wanting to become famous to a middle-aged man continuing struggle with depression.
The first thing that stuck out to me was Daniel's constant recording of all of his art and his personal life. He would document everything he was feeling and everything that happened. He would make movies of his home life where he portrayed himself and his mother. The grainy footage was so personal and let the viewer into his life.
Daniel's parents were always there for him and supported him at every turn in his young life. They knew he was a "different" sort of person who didn't fit into normal society.
His sketches represented the various struggles he went through mentally and a lot of his struggles were centered on his extreme religious background. He was always worried that people were possessed by the devil and needed saving. His drawings reflected this as he would portray Captain America battling a multi-headed creature representing the devil.
His claim to fame was realized when he appeared on MTV's "Cutting Edge" and stole the show. His unique alternative folk music was a complete hit and showed raw emotion and vulnerability.
However, his slip into manic depression prevented him from becoming a commercial success, as he would miss appointments with his producer. Daniel was so obsessed with casting the devil from people that it would control his every action.
His family was even put at risk after Daniel threw out the keys to his father's single-engine plane while they were flying in it.
This movie does not glorify mental illness and also doesn't glorify Daniel as a genius. It looks honestly at how depression can affect everyone from family to friends and how it can create great music, but can also destroy great music.
I knew very little about Daniel Johnston before viewing this movie. I had heard some of his music from the Kids soundtrack and from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks. I knew he had a unique artistic style, but had no idea where it came from and what influenced him to create such amazing art.
I recommend this movie highly to anyone interested in how mental illness can affect someone's life and how the artistic process can be influenced by such illnesses.