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« Enter Fenster | Main | New Blowhard: Francis Morrone »

September 03, 2004

More "Brown Bunny"

Michael Blowhard writes

Dear Blowhards --

I'm looking forward this long weekend to hangin' with The Wife, taking some yoga classes, and seeing Vincent Gallo's movie The Brown Bunny, which has just opened. The film is famous for being hissed at Cannes, and is notorious for depicting a scene of unsimulated oral sex between the director-star and the actress Chloe Sevigny. No prizes for correctly guessing who's doing what to whom.

There was an amusing exchange between Vincent Gallo and the film critic Roger Ebert that was reported this way:

Roger Ebert called the "The Brown Bunny" "the worst in the history of Cannes" to which Vincent Gallo responded that Ebert was a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader." Ebert paraphrased a remark of Winston Churchill's and responded that "although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of 'Brown Bunny'." Gallo then put a "hex" on Ebert's colon, to which Ebert responded that "even my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film."

That's as good as the dialog in "All About Eve," IMHO.

Chloe Sevigny, who recently saw fit to change agents, has made the following comments to the press:

The scene is very tender and it's not gratuitous. He's a great actor and a great filmmaker. I knew it would be well done. I've known him since I was 17. ... We were intimate when I was younger a little bit, so I feel so comfortable with him. I could trust him 100 percent ... There are a lot of misconceptions about the film. Most of the people who have been writing about it haven't even seen the film. When people do see it, they will realize that the sex in the movie is not in any way gratuitous, that is a truly heartbreaking movie. I am proud of it.

I found these quotes on the Internet Movie Database, here. More when I've actually seen the film.

Oh, and The Wife and I are thinking about visiting the Metropolitan Museum too.



UPDATE: Thanks to Jesse M., who found this Chicago Sun-Times talk between Gallo and Ebert, here.

posted by Michael at September 3, 2004


Interestingly, Ebert has given the re-cut version a thumbs up.

Posted by: Joseph on September 3, 2004 2:55 PM

The Ebert-Gallo dustup just goes to show: there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Chloe Sevigny sounds a bit ditsy. But I saw her in Sunset, where she did an outstanding job. Actresses only have to be plausable on screen.

Posted by: ricpic on September 3, 2004 3:28 PM

Are you expecting to see Ms. Sevigny en flagrante with anyone at the Metropolitan? Maybe she and Mr. Gallo will do some "performance art."

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 3, 2004 7:26 PM

Here's an interview Ebert did recently with Gallo, you can see they've pretty much made up, and as Joseph said he likes the recut version of Brown Bunny a lot better:

Posted by: Jesse M. on September 4, 2004 11:37 PM

And proving that AICN isn't just news for geeky losers (we won't go into why I check that site on a daily basis), one of their "correspondents" recently got Mr. Gallo's thoughts on the same Ebert/Gallo encounter:

Posted by: Jaquandor on September 5, 2004 9:16 AM

Based on the unanimous reaction of friends who have seen this project, I can only hope you thought the better of it. Me, I'm going to abstain. I mean, why go through the hassle when I can just sit home and ponder weighty dramas like, say, Paycheck ...?

I haven't seen it and I don't intend to, but in this way it reminds me of Caligula - no matter how good your intentions and how earnest your efforts, you just can't stop people from seeing Caligula. "Dude, I heard it's really gross and awful and full of nudity and sex." "NO. WAIT. It is gross and awful and BORING and ... oh, the hell with it. You'll be sorry, though."

My friend Jess at Blind Cavefish runs the movie down thusly:

Hi. I'm Vincent Gallo.
I'm sensitive.
Chicks dig me.
Look at my magnificent cock.
The end.

YMMV, of course. And I'm no prince of summer cinema; I saw Alien v. Predator and Exorcist: The Beginning in the same week. And lived. If you call that living.

If you like it, I'll be quite curious to read your thoughts.

Posted by: Linus on September 7, 2004 1:08 PM

Here’s a /">review of the film in this week’s New Yorker. David Denby summarizes Gallo’s achievement as follows:

“The Brown Bunny is one of those movies that work retrospectively: the final scene [the fellatio shot] pulls the film together, explaining and justifying Bud’s misery and his earlier inability to respond to women. In brief, “The Brown Bunny,” however antagonistic and borderline tedious, is an art work of sorts, and Gallo himself, though an egomaniac of staggering solemnity—a priest of art longing for a cult—is not a fake. An obsessed filmmaker like this is faintly reminiscent, at least in temperament, of such figures as Rimbaud and van Gogh and the hero-martyrs of sixties underground filmmaking.”

But my favorite line of the review is this one: “Will he last? Can he ‘grow’? The signs are not good.”

Now I have to see it.

Posted by: Maureen on September 7, 2004 11:24 PM

How could live oral sex be anything BUT gratuitious? How could "heartbreak" make it less gratuitous? I think we need to consider the source here...

Posted by: annette on September 8, 2004 8:46 AM

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