Danielson: A FAMILY Movie

Or, Make a Joyful Noise Here
J.L. Aronson
USA, 2006, 95 minutes
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Danielson: a FAMILY Movie is a portrait of unbridled creativity vs. accessibility, Christian faith vs. popular culture, underground music vs. survival, and family vs. individuality.

Aronson follows Daniel Smith, an eccentric musician and visual artist, as he leads his four siblings and best friend to indie rock stardom. Since 1995, when the youngest sibling was 11, the Danielson Famile has performed in white vintage nurse costumes to symbolize the healing power of the Good News – a recurring subject matter. Though their reception by the Christian music world was tepid at best, the South Jersey farmland-bred family is embraced by the mainstream independent music community. Noted as an outsider curiosity backed up by innovative, experimental music, articles appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, the New York Times and elsewhere.

But family acts that don't make much money are hard to maintain. Members seek out their own paths as they go through college, and Daniel struggles to become viable as a solo act. Along the way he mentors an unknown singer-songwriter named Sufjan Stevens who achieves substantially more success very quickly – and a star is born.

Aronson uses collage, direct cinema, animation and memorable musical performances in this engaging, informative and entertaining portrait of a truly independent artist.


Preceded by:

Dumb Angel

Deco Dawson
Canada, 2005, 9 minutes

Experimental filmmaker meets drummer Anders Erickson.

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