There’s something which doesn’t sound right to me when I read these two names side by side, Daniel Johnston and Lana Del Rey? Really? I don’t know, but the languid, drug-haze of Del Rey seems to be the opposite of Johnston’s manic frenzy, plus I have always questioned her authenticity as many others have. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was firstLizzy Grant before rebranding a more morose version of herself as Lana Del Rey and there are more made-up stories circulating about her persona than there are myths in the bible. She is a rich daddy’s little girl with a carefully crafted image and career path, and if there is nothing wrong to make up a character, she insists that everything about her is as authentic as her big lips, right! She is attracted by darkness and wished she was already dead, and she romanticized her dark side so much she made Cobain’s daughter a bit mad… anyway, in comparison Daniel Johnston is this raw super-authentic individual who is scared of the devil and other terrible things going through his mad mind… But may be I am wrong, because Lana Del Rey is very serious about this project, and is even the executive producer along with Mac Miller, of the short film called ‘Hi How Are You Daniel Johnston?’
Ten years ago, I saw ‘The Devil and Daniel Johnston’, a documentary about the manic depressive singer songwriter, and it was hard and painful to watch, as madness is always very disarming and cruel. This new short film, directed by Gabriel Sunday, chronicles the imaginary meeting between the Daniel Johnston of 2015 and his younger self in 1983, when he was making his album ‘Hi, How Are You’. Johnston plays himself, Gabriel Sunday the musician’s younger self. and musician/actress Soko is Johnston’s long-lost love, Laurie.
And what about Lana? She covers one of Daniel Johnston’s songs ‘Some Things Last A Long Time’, featured in the soundtrack of the movie, and you can hear a tiny snippet of the song in the trailer below. Will it be another Montage of Heck? Will they animate his drawings too? I feel the worst… as everyone knows, Johnston had a big influence on Kurt Cobain and Del Rey has cited Cobain as a big influence too,… so everything is connected or may be everything is calculated.