Monday, April 10, 2006

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

We went to Philly this weekend for a filmfest screening of Jeff Feuerzeig's absolutely brilliant new film, "The Devil and Daniel Johnston."

Full disclosure: my boyfriend is buddybuddy with Jeff, which is why we schlepped to Philadelphia (to hang out with him).

But: this movie is amazing. Jeff has created a captivating portrait of Daniel Johnston (the man, the myth, the legend), of whom I've been a fan since the early 90s when Vin Scelsa would enthuse about him on "Idiot's Delight." Daniel, if you don't know, is a brilliant singer-songwriter who slid into a very deep, dark and disturbing battle with mental illness. And this movie - which is really a biography as opposed to a doc -- is gorgeous in its storytelling (well, Daniel "tells" via hundreds of audio cassettes he compulsively recorded over the years, and there's lots of incredibly revealing interviews with Daniel's friends and fambly and industry veterans, and then Jeff "shows" the story in several genius ways, ranging from beautiful footage to animation to simple-yet-effective shots of the aforementioned cassette tapes). I saw the film on Saturday, and I can't stop thinking about it (and listening to my old Daniel Johnston tapes)

I have to go to a meeting, but you MUST see this movie. No excuse.


If'n you're in NYC: see it at

143 East Houston Street on the Lower East Side
(212) 330-8182

And if you've already seen this amazing movie of AMAZINGNESS, then you'll appreciate this photo:
bex n jeff

After the screening, we headed to a Belgium Beer Bar called "Eulogy" where Jeff (I'm sitting next to him) held court in an extensive and enlightening q&a. The bar was pretty crowded so they had to sit us in the COFFIN ROOM. (Yes, our beer bottles are resting on a coffin. The coffin contains a skeleton wearing that Hawaiian shirt thing you can see in this photo). Just like in a Funeral Home.
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
I’m going to the funeral home
Buy me a coffin shiny and black
I’m going to the funeral and I’m never coming back.

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