Josh and Benny Safdie’s new film, Daddy Longlegs, is now available via your cable’s Movies On Demand channel courtesy of IFC. It’s also playing at the IFC Center in New York. Only a year ago, the Safdie brothers premiered the film as part of the Directors Fortnight sidebar in Cannes. Since then, Longlegs has undergone a title change (it was originally called Go Get Some Rosemary) and a few more festival stops, including a slot at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film is a quietly evocative journey alongside a loving but dysfunctional adult father, who is trying his best (but not really) to raise his two sons when his ex-wife feels charitable enough to let him around. Ronnie Bronstein (director of the terrific film, Frownland) plays the father, Lenny, and he’s every bit as great in the lead role as you would imagine. Lenny is likable, but revolting, and his lack of maturity is rivaled only by his love for the two sons.
A lot of people I know are convinced that Josh and Benny Safdie are geniuses in the process of fully developing their skills. I agree with that, and what I like about the Safdie brothers is their anarchist spirit, and their commitment to their craft. They are almost Andy Kaufman-like in their ability to reflect the modernity of their own artform, and in their ability to get a rise out of people for the sake of a laugh. They are some of the only young filmmakers who can straddle the line between magical realism and cinema verite, and do it with great ease. For the Sunday New York Times, Dennis Lim profiles Josh and Benny, while looking at how their own father inspired the conflicted relationships that exist in their stirring new film. See it.