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The Brown Bunny
The Brown Bunny
Actors: Elizabeth Blake (II), Mary Morasky, ChloŽ Sevigny, Cheryl Tiegs, Anna Vareschi
Director: Vincent Gallo
Genres: Drama
UR     2005     1hr 33min

A professional motorcycle racer travels cross-country and meets a variety of women he uses in an attempt to replace Daisy, his only true love. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: UN Release Date: 7-AUG-2007 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Elizabeth Blake (II), Mary Morasky, ChloŽ Sevigny, Cheryl Tiegs, Anna Vareschi
Director: Vincent Gallo
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/16/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL
Reviewed on 2/15/2010...
A boring film by one of the most pretenious filmmakers around. The hype surrounding this film had nothing to do with it's merits as cinema and everything to do with a graphic oral sex scene. The film fails to entertain and is boring beyond belief.
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

An introspective film
PolarisDiB | Southwest, USA | 07/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since this movie is known most for the controversy, I am going to start and finish with it to reflect people's habit of starting and ending their impressions of something with a scene out of context. It wasn't porn, and my argument for that comes completely from the context... what happens directly before and after that moment. Basically, people have been angry at Gallo for being self-involved in this movie, especially that scene, but during that scene the self-involvement is literally the point. It's masturbatory, but the key is that it drains him, just like masturbation. One thing the DVD box says about it is that it's one of the "frankest portrayals of male sexuality on film" and so let's be frank here.

His sexual confusion is part of his grief, and part of grief is the habit of trying to deny it actually happened. So when he starts acting dominant during that scene with what's happening, it's his subconscious trying to throw a sort of male sexual dominance over something he doesn't understand and hasn't allowed himself to accept. But when it drains him, he's forced to admit that he doesn't only grieve for her but hates her for forcing him into that grief, and from there comes probably one of the best conversations (or inner dialog) I've seen in film in a long time.

But does it necessarily need to be "shown" rather than implied?

Well yes. Because the character's focus is so involved on it, it literally is all his mind is allowing him to care about in that moment. Basic rule of a close-up: if the camera focuses on something like that, then the director is trying to point something out. If it's porn, it's meant to arouse... but this scene isn't arousing, especially because of its context.

But enough of that, because I want to discuss something else about this movie. Partly because of the controversy around this movie, and partly because of the publicity, I had the initial impression that Gallo was an abrasive and over-masculinized character in this film. Wow, complete opposite... I totally related to his character. Of course, his short relationships with those women don't seem to work at first, but once we get an idea of where he's coming from in his grief (and men's general dislike of expressing it or asking for help), the relationships make perfect sense in terms of being representational (thus the obvious motif of all of their flower names and his name as "Bud"). Basically, the first woman fits what he's looking for courteously, the second emotionally, and the third emotionally, but none of them match the full attraction he has to the only woman he's ever loved. I liked it.

And the long continuing imagery of the road trip was really neat too, as it actually really captured that introspective feeling of it. Most roadtrip movies show the car in moments of time from the exterior... which kind of changes the perspective of what a roadtrip is. This movie shows it literally from the passenger seat, complete with the dirty/smudged window and the long road stretched ahead. I think there was only one shot that was actually an exterior of the van when on the freeway, the rest of the exteriors were when the van was parking or he was stopped somewhere. I find it very lovely, ultimately, and as my mother once said, "The road trip is something of a rite of passage amongst American males. It's a moment when they take on as much of the world as they feel necessary all on their own." Gallo seems to have the same idea, though there is a major American film genre built around that idea as well: the road as a literal transfiguration of self-discovery.

So, going back to the controversy, it really disappoints me that this film has to be known for that when there is so much more art and beauty and innocence it has to offer. I also find the controversy rather inconsistant, considering most people have absolutely no trouble with the female body in various states of arousal, yet as soon as "the male gender" is shown, it's pornographic! The funny thing is, it contributes to that very male sense of fear and dominance they feel they must assert sexually. So I guess I could make an argument that Gallo did that scene to attack that inconsistant form of sexual censorship, but if I didn't already know that basically Sevigny and he agreed to do it because, "Why not, we were in a relationship, we did it before, might as well just show it!"

I Loved It. I Hated It. I Loved It. 90 out of 100
Wisconsin Dad | Wisconsin United States | 08/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a lot about the Brown Bunny that didn't make sense, but in the end I found myself haunted by it. I find it rather ironic, that Bud Clay loved Daisy despite the fact that she didn't make sense, and in the end he was haunted by her.

In any case, the Brown Bunny is a film about a motorcycle racer who travels across country for his next race which happens to be in California, near where the love of his life, Daisy, lives. There is little more I can say about the film without giving away spoilers, for this is a film with a minimalist plot. Bud does meet some women across the way; women he is attracted to, yet, who are not Daisy.

Many say that the Brown Bunny is junk, but it did a lot for me. Here goes...

First, the scenes with Bud and the woman were some of the best man - woman interaction I have seen on film. With little to no words, I felt myself attracted to them. Gallo does a marvelous job of using the camera to convey attraction. Despite the quirkiness of the 3 flowers, Rose, Lilly and Violet, I found myself oddly attracted to them. This was due to the filmmaker and the acting between Gallo and said actresses. In these 3 minimalistic scenes, Gallo shows us everything that can be good about film romance, and everything that Hollywood is missing. Call it a lesson on chemistry, if you will.

Second, the film felt familiar. It felt like my journey, and a journey I have taken. The journey built up suspense as to what Bud was up too, and in the end delivered. But more than that, the journey is familiar because each of us (or most of us) have had those confusing days where a relationship has wavered and we are trying to figure life out. Bud's journey is our journey, and the Brown Bunny, despite using little words, conveys that well. Those who have never had a dysfunctional or soul mate-gone-wrong relationship might think this point is silly.

Third, the acting was brilliant. The immersion, off the scale. The intangibles were huge. Often the camera seemed to say a thousand words when the dialog said little. The silence spoke volumes. Sunsets, scenery and sadness.

Lastly, I walked away from the film thinking and feeling. It made me think about love, and live, and those I have yearned for but lost. I went to bed a ball of mixed emotions. Few films do this.

In the end, Brown Bunny is minimalistic with little dialog, but it is a movie well worth seeing. It makes you think, makes you feel, makes you wonder, and leaves glad you watched the film, for better or for worse. Just like Bud Clay.

I loved it. I hated it. I loved it. If you don't understand dysfunction, Bud Clay, or the movie, you won't understand why I say this.

Total Score (out of 100) = 90

47 (out of 50). Enjoyment. A rating based on my overall enjoyment of the film.
10 (out of 10). Acting. How good was the acting?
10 (out of 10). Immersion. Did the movie suck me into the story?
10 (out of 10). Intangibles. Special effects. Movie pace. Is the movie forgettable, or something you will talk about and remember for weeks? Years?
10 (out of 10). Must see. Is this movie worth seeing/renting?
3 (out of 10). Must buy. Is this movie a must buy/purchase?"
Maybe even 6 out of 5 stars. So there.
Flubjub | South Bend IN USA | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, well, of course most people don't like this movie. If people don't realize by now that Brown Bunny is aimed at a limited audience--especially after all the hullabaloos (hullabali?) raised by this film--I don't know what to say about the movie-viewing public. The following are the facts of the matter; let them serve as either a warning or invitation to prospective viewers.

(1) The film is (materially) uneventful. By this, I mean that nothing much "happens" as far as dialogue, events, or otherwise obvious Hollywood razzmatazz. There are no car chases, explosions, fist fights, cute romantic foibles, jokes, sight gags, or secret government plots. What there is, is a lot of driving--of a van, across the U.S. There are minor, nearly wordless encounters scattered around, but the film is predominantly a mood piece, meditative, allusive, cathartic, evocative... If this doesn't sound appealing to you, then by all means save yourself the hassle and avoid this film like the plague. But to all those who think this is nth degree in a director's self-indulgence, this movie doesn't even come close. See a movie like Goodbye Dragon Inn or, for that matter, any of the major Taiwanese directors, and then you'll see a slow movie! (But not necessarily a bad one, however.)

(2) The movie is brutally depressing. If you make it all the way through (and many will not), you'll unlikely be whistling a merry ditty or feeling particularly chipper. It is certainly not a feel-good movie; in fact, it might qualify as a feel-very-bad movie, which I prefer anyway. A lot of people complain about depressing movies--they would rather watch something light and diverting. But here's the discrepancy: this isn't the cinematic version of Muzak, here to pacify the populace; it is art--which may (fear or fears!) be distressing at times. Life's like that. Get used to it. We have more than enough "entertainment" around to neutralize us into thoughtless zombies... pop music, magazines, TV, sports, and (ahem) the internet, just to name a few.

(3) Okay, here's another doozy, and this is the reason the movie has gotten any public notoriety whatsoever. There is an actual sex scene containing actual oral sex (apparently anyway) between Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny. But, if you are visiting this page, you probably already know this. After all, why would 95% of people be visiting this page? If you are thinking of watching this film for the erotic factor, skip it. There are countless adult films better formulated to satisfy your needs. This scene is hardly what I would consider titillating. It's more sad, in a way. And, no, Chloe Sevigny hasn't destroyed her career by doing this, nor has she made an especially bad choice. (Notice that not many people accuse Vincent Gallo of destroying his career by doing the same thing. But of course many people strongly dislike Vincent Gallo anyway. I myself don't like his right-wing politics, but I still love this film.)

Okay, those are the three main obstacles preventing most casual viewers from "enjoying" (is that even the right word?) this film. If one or more of them seems unappealing to you, then save yourself the ninety minutes. It's as simple as that.

It was very appealing to me, however, and I imagine that some other people out in the world will find this film as important, moving, and meaningful as I have."