I knew almost nothing about the musician/artist Daniel Johnston before seeing the gentle and arresting documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. I was actually planning to see Brick, a film noir playing at the Embarcadero, but the unhappy thought of trudging back up the hill in the rain afterwards proved a fortunate deterrent. The Lumiere on the other hand is conveniently close and generally somewhat audience-starved which, if you're in the mood to see a movie sans the madding crowd, can be another plus.
Out of the three films playing (the other two were Steve Buscemi's Lonesome Jim and Transamerica), I chose The Devil because I've long been intrigued by mental illness and the artist. In no way did I expect to be so engaged and so moved. Director Jeff Feuerzeig's non-judgmental and surprisingly humorous portrait examines the truly mythic life of a musical legend, whose genius is tirelessly promoted by his persistent manager and celebrated by fellow artists including Tom Waits and the late Kurt Cobain. I highly recommend it and if you don't trust me, its current rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a fresh 83%.