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Danielson: A Family Movie (2006)

Cast: Daniel Smith, Daniel Smith, Rachel Smith, more...
Director: J.L. Aronson, J.L. Aronson
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Homevision
Genre: Documentary, Art, Quirky Characters
Running Time: 96 min.
    see additional details...

Filmmaker J.L. Aronson offers an intimate portrait of a band in which eccentric innovation and unwavering faith forms an unlikely recipe for indie-rock stardom. The year was 1995, and aspiring musician Daniel Smith needed a project for his senior thesis project at Rutgers University. Upon handing in an album recorded by the Danielson Famile entitled A Prayer for Every Hour, the ambitious student was promptly given an A for his remarkable creative efforts. The youngest sibling in the Smith family was 11 years old, and a new era in family history had been set into motion. Born and bred in the farmlands of New Jersey, Smith and his siblings formed a band that soon took to performing in vintage white nurses' outfits to symbolize the healing power of the "Good Word." Though unfavorably received by the Christian community, the Danielson Famile found an unlikely ally in the form of the independent music community. With an outsider edge that appealed to music critics who were fast beginning to grow tired of the stagnant state of modern music, Smith and his band received widespread recognition thanks to articles in such prolific publications as Rolling Stone and Spin magazines. With little money coming in and his other siblings longing to continue their education and seek out their own paths in life, Danielson Famile frontman Smith does his best to establish himself as a solo act while mentoring a then-unknown singer/songwriter with the curious name of Sufjan Stevens. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Pleasantly Suprised by NPeeke July 12, 2007 - 8:08 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
As expected, this is a documentary with "cute" written all over it. In Danielson-land the world is a hapy place, populated my music and close-knit family. The film itself is well-documented and chronicles the lifespan of the various projects put out by musician Daniel Smith (with the focus being on Danielson Famile, the band which includes which his siblings). Smith performed with Danielson Familie as his thesis while in college in the early 90's, which many interpret as performance art, as the group don's matching customes, most notably that of nurses. The vibe is feel good, and carries across the messge of Christianity, but Smith chooses his words wisely and speaks of his relationship with God in a beautiful and touching manner, and does a good job of not alienating even atheists.

I would recommend this to fans of quirky music, singer-wongwriters and those interested in family dynamics. Also, for fans of Daniel Johnston's documentary, Devil and Daniel Johnston, who, incidentally, makes a cameo in the film. As does Sufjan Stevens, a long time friend and member of Danielson, another Smith project.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.86)
7 Votes
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