John’s Gone a film by Josh and Benny Safdie. 2010, USA, 23 min. With Benny Safdie, Owen Kline and Dakota Goldhor. Shot on video, a darker sequel with the filmmakers’ recurring character on the streets of Queens. 


Here is another early work from the great Josh and Benny Safdie. Co-directed by both brothers, John’s Gone is a follow-up to Benny Safdie’s The Acquaintances of A Lonely John. John’s Gone finds the solitary title character, as Benny Safdie explains, “when life no longer treats him as nicely as he thought it would.”



In the filmmakers’ words: “John’s Gone is a fever dream comedy about John’s World soon after his mother passes away. He sells things online, cheats off dollar stores, needs friends but settles for strangers, has roaches. He is surrounded by people who don’t speak his language. He is punch drunk (not with love) but something far more strange and lost. One can only say John’s Gone.”


The Safdie brothers, who were born and raised in New York City, shot John’s Gone on video in Benny’s apartment in Queens, NY shortly after making their first feature Daddy Longlegs. Their father, a cinephile who introduced his sons to cinema early, bought a video camera in 1988 that produced images the brothers always loved. In preparing to shoot John’s Gone, Josh and Benny tried to find that same camera. They went looking for an elusive pro version of the camera, which they could never find, but the search led them to a version that had been modified for a security camera — which they were able to outfit with 16 mm Bolex lenses. The script was co-written with Ronald Bronstein, their close collaborator on a number of films, who co-wrote and co-edited their last two features and who also plays the role of the father in Daddy Longlegs.


“Who knows where our sadness comes from? One day your happiness is here and the next day it’s gone.” JOSH SAFDIE


John’s Gone premiered at the 2010 Venice Biennale. Josh and Benny Safdie have since directed the critically acclaimed feature Heaven Knows What, as well as their first full-length documentary Lenny Cooke. The filmmakers’ rich body of work has established the brothers as two of the most original voices in young American cinema. They recently finished shooting Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson, and have announced their upcoming feature Uncut Gems, which will be executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Credits for
Benny Safdie, Owen Kline & Dakota Goldhor
written by
Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie & Ronald Bronstein
produced by
Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie
Josh Safdie
Paul Grimstad & Abner Jay
Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie