In our Best of Brooklyn (and Manhattan, too) issue, we name the brothers Josh and Benny Safide the city’s Best Local, Native Filmmakers, noting with approval the sly, gloriously lived-in New York as portrayed in their features The Pleasure of Being Robbed and this year’s Daddy Longlegs (The L’s token native New Yorker Henry Stewart rhapsodized both films).
The Brooklyn Academy of Music evidently agrees with our assessment: tonight, they kickoff a nearly two-week, 18-title retrospective centered around the Safdies’ body of work—which itself consists, so far, of two features and enough shorts for a single program.
If you didn’t know anything about their work, you’d be interested in it solely based on their taste—and in fact, their “emotional sloppy manic cinema” favorites, many of which they’ll be introducing, are not just certified-cool but also dovetail nicely with their own favorite themes. There’s rambunctious childhood (Vigo’s Zero for Conduct, which kicks off the series tonight, and Truffaut’s Small Change) raw, naturalistic relationship chronicles (Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives and John Cassavetes’s Mikey and Nicky), and New York City itself, in all its out-of-the-way textures (in addition to Woody and Cassavetes, there’s Frownland, by Daddy Longlegs star Ronald Bronstein, and Charlie “Wild Style” Ahearn’s compilation of Times Square home videos).
Henry could not be reached for comment, as he has already staked out his seat at BAM for the duration of the festival. (Save me one, Hank!)