If you don’t see DADDY LONGLEGS, I might eat my shoe.
This Sunday July 18 at 10pm, Monday at 7 and Wednesday at 10:15, we're playing a film called DADDY LONGLEGS. You may not have heard of it. That's ok. You're here now, and you can thank us after you see this film that has been wowing audiences at the prestigious Cannes, Sundance, and Vienna film festivals. It's a remarkably powerful and beautiful film, the kind of wonderful piece of art that comes to the cinema once every few years. This limited, Austin exclusive engagement could be your only chance to see what many are calling the best film of the year.
The film centers on a father, played by underground filmmaker Ronald Bronstein, who has a few weeks visitation time with his two sons. Michael Phillips for the Los Angeles Times tries to describe the character: "Scrambling through his own life like a human incarnation of Godard's BREATHLESS, the protagonist of the terrifyingly funny independent feature... is a moth as well as a flame, a havoc generator with unlimited, unfocused energy and a staggering lack of reliable parental instincts." This almost indescribable persona is at the heart of why this film is so provocative and lasting.
Roger Ebert tries to explain why this amazing character works: "Bronstein's performance is crucial. It's difficult to make a manic character plausible, but he does. He never goes over the top. His mania seems devoted more to lifting off from the bottom."
It's not just the character the makes the film so tremendous. Writers/Directors Benny and Josh Safdie (this is a semi-autobiographical film about their childhood) are master filmmakers, able to make their camera expose things no actor could. Mark Feeney in the Boston Globe describes it: "DADDY LONGLEGS is all jangly and raw. The hand-held camera is almost as much of a presence in the film as Lenny is. He’s all edges and exposed nerves, and so’s the camera. The movie is one long explosion seemingly waiting to happen, and the camera’s the fuse." J Hoberman of the Village Voice likewise expresses the power of the film's style, "Naturalistically spontaneous, DADDY LONGLEGS is astute behavioral direction...But for all the vérité slam-bang, it's more a grungy form of magic realism. Day and night are elastic concepts...the movie is filled with matter-of-factly absurd episodes."
Most of all, this character study is going to shake you to your core. It questions the friend/authority balance so many young parents struggle with. Writes Jennie Yabroff in Newsweek, "DADDY LONGLEGS may shock you, but it will also make you reexamine your ideas about parenthood, and what it means to be a father."
If you're a parent, or if you've ever struggled with your parents, this film is a much-needed therapy session. It is one of the most provocative and beautifully-made films of our time, and any cinephile will feel great regret if she/he misses this film. Support independent filmmaking!
See DADDY LONGLEGS this Sunday at 10, and see it again Monday at 7 and Wednesday at 10:15. Advance tickets available here.