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Director's dud widely reviled--even by him (Roger Ebert's account of new Vincent Gallo film)
Chicago Sun Times ^ | May 25, 2003 | Roger Ebert

Posted on 06/03/2003 2:01:14 PM PDT by weegee

CANNES, France--The Affair of the Brown Bunny, one of the most astonishing episodes in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, took another turn Friday when director Vincent Gallo apologized for his film and said, "It is a disaster and a waste of time."

Gallo's "Brown Bunny," which screened as one of three American entries in the official competition, was the lowest-rated film in the history of Screen International, the British trade paper that tabulates votes of a panel of critics. It was booed and laughed at during its screenings, there were countless walkouts, and its inclusion as an official selection called into question the judgment, even the sanity, of the programmers. That several French critics liked it was, Gallo said, "almost like salt in the wound."

The film consists of an unendurable 90 minutes of uneventful banality, as Gallo's character travels cross-country toward a motorcycle race in California, followed by a hard-core sex scene in which he imagines he receives fellatio from his lost love, played by Chloe Sevigny. Let it be said that Sevigny, who reportedly cried during the screening, is heroic in the way she finds conviction and truth in her character, in the midst of the general catastrophe. Many minutes of the earlier scenes consist of such shots as a windshield gradually accumulating dead bugs.

Gallo is talented as an actor, and his first film as a director, "Buffalo 66" (1998), was so quirky and free-spirited you not only forgave its eccentricities but cherished them. Nothing in his previous career would predict the disaster of "Brown Bunny."

"I accept what the critics say," Gallo told Screen International, whose panel gave the bunny its record low rating. "If no one wants to see it, they are right. I apologize to the financiers of the film, but I must assure you it was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film."

"L'Affaire Brown Bunny" has generated so much publicity, as the low point of a dismal year at Cannes, that it may actually find French distribution; there may be a cachet attached to seeing such a universally derided film. Some French critics specialize in defending the indefensible, to show that they alone can understand a rejected work; their explications of "Brown Bunny" may be--indeed, must inevitably be--more entertaining than the film.

Gallo might be expected to leave town quickly after the bunny debacle, but he is also an actor in Peter Greenaway's "The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story," which plays in the official competition here over the weekend. That means he will be expected to march once again up the red carpet and into the Palais--where, he said, the "Brown Bunny" screening was "the worst feeling I ever had in my life."

Roger Ebert


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anticonservative; blacklist; brownbunny; buffalo66; cannes; ebert; films; gallo; hollywood; hollywoodblacklist; movies; rogerebert; vincentgallo
I think that Mr. Gallo (a conservative) may be facing a heap of Hollywood backlash for the treatment the French and the Hollywood antiBush activists got.

Gallo: I never apologised for Brown Bunny (Conservative filmmaker facing leftist backlash?)

1 posted on 06/03/2003 2:01:14 PM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
Now every critic agreed, here's another from Chicago:

Cannes Journal- Manohla Dargis

I can easily think of a fistful of titles that are much worse, including a number of opening-night films. The fact is that for all its problems and wallowing self-indulgence, "The Brown Bunny" didn't bore me for a second, which is no small thing, especially considering this year's offerings. I love its glamorized documentary feel and look -- part Frederick Wiseman, part fashion magazine layout -- and I very much like looking at Gallo's mug, which is a good thing, because he's in nearly every shot. If nothing else, the film is unequivocally the work of a man pursuing his own path. I am already looking forward to seeing if I can stand to sit through it a second time -- that is, if anyone picks it up for U.S. distribution. I just hope that Gallo, who before his press screening was walking along the Croisette dressed in all white with his name stamped on the back of his shirt, wasn't sitting in the theater when the cheers and the jeers erupted.

2 posted on 06/03/2003 2:10:43 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: weegee
Wait, hardcore sex scene?

I'm not sure if I buy that, if only because it would mean Chloe Sevigny is actually performing oral sex on him. Or do they mean it had ELEMENTS of hard core(like showing his penis, etc) ??
3 posted on 06/03/2003 2:14:03 PM PDT by Skywalk
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To: weegee
"L'Affaire Brown Bunny" has generated so much publicity, as the low point of a dismal year at Cannes, that it may actually find French distribution; there may be a cachet attached to seeing such a universally derided film. Some French critics specialize in defending the indefensible, to show that they alone can understand a rejected work; their explications of "Brown Bunny" may be--indeed, must inevitably be--more entertaining than the film.

A nation that idolizes Jerry Lewis is capable of embracing any artless piece.

4 posted on 06/03/2003 2:15:29 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: Skywalk
Supposedly the scene is real.
5 posted on 06/03/2003 2:19:24 PM PDT by I still care
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To: weegee
This sounds like an insanely elaborate scheme to get a hummer from Chloe Sevigny.

Whatever.

6 posted on 06/03/2003 2:21:43 PM PDT by Petronski (I"m not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
>This sounds like an insanely elaborate scheme to get a hummer from Chloe Sevigny.

LOL. What a diabolical plan, and he had "financiers" pay for it!
7 posted on 06/03/2003 2:25:15 PM PDT by Maximum Leader (run from a knife, close on a gun)
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To: Skywalk
I haven't seen the film and am only learning of details but there is this:

The one crumb for him must be Sevigny's revelation that its notorious final fellatio scene was for real. "It wasn't that bad for me," she said. "I have been intimate with Vincent before."

From an article in the other thread Gallo: I never apologised for Brown Bunny (Conservative filmmaker facing leftist backlash?)

8 posted on 06/03/2003 2:25:28 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Petronski
This sounds like an insanely elaborate scheme to get a hummer from Chloe Sevigny.

Ahhh... but, do you also get the tune of your choice?

9 posted on 06/03/2003 2:29:08 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: Maximum Leader
Diabolically clever and enterprising, to be sure, but read this:

Vincent Gallo, the outrageous actor-director who fired both Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst before they even stepped onto the set of his film Brown Bunny...

Gallo goes to all this trouble to get . . . Chloe Sevigny? He coulda had Winona Ryder!

Winona!

10 posted on 06/03/2003 2:30:20 PM PDT by Petronski (I"m not always cranky.)
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To: weegee
For the record, Mr. Ebert has only made X rated movies (contributing writer):

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls
Up!
Beneath The Valley Of The Ultravixens

He also was a contributing writer to the never completed Russ Meyer/Sex Pistols movie, Who Killed Bambi?

Mr. Ebert is now married to one of the stars of Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens (Junkyard Sal).

11 posted on 06/03/2003 2:31:00 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: pabianice
Ahhh... but, do you also get the tune of your choice?

I don't know, but I would select the Helen Reddy classic "I am strong...I am invincible...I am woman!"

12 posted on 06/03/2003 2:31:15 PM PDT by Petronski (I"m not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
Nah,

If Chloe was intimate with him before, that's one step. Two, I HIGHLY doubt Winona or Kirsten would give this guy a blowjob on film. I know people do all kinds of things for "art" but I don't see either of them doing that.

More likely they were fired from other roles OR he couldn't get them to agree to El Hum-mair.
13 posted on 06/03/2003 2:33:16 PM PDT by Skywalk
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To: weegee
How can "conservative" in any way be connected to a film including this: followed by a hard-core sex scene in which he imagines he receives fellatio from his lost love?

About the only way such a worthless sounding film could be less "conservative" is if the guy was imagining the same scene but with his lost male love.....

Ok, now I have to wash my mouth out.....hope I don't barf.....

14 posted on 06/03/2003 2:40:15 PM PDT by TheBattman (Big Brother is closer than you would like to know......)
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To: weegee
Gallo is talented as an actor, and his first film as a director, "Buffalo 66" (1998)

The portrayal of his mother by Angelica Houston was great. I'm from Buffalo and there are many people who are as rabid Bills fans as she was. It was dead on. It wasn't supposed to be funny, but if you are from Buffalo, it was hillarious.
15 posted on 06/03/2003 2:47:47 PM PDT by Wacka
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To: weegee
Mr. Ebert is now married to one of the stars of Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens (Junkyard Sal).,

Are you sure? Junkyard Sal was played by Jane somebody and I thought Ebert was married someone named Chaz or something like that.

Of course, Chaz could be a nickname though I hardly see the point of nick-naming a Jane. Or Jane could just have been a screen name or whatever. Not that any of this matters a great deal.

Anyhow, if the Chaz that he married is actually Junkyard Sal she sure has hit the wall in a big way. Actually they make a pretty good match.

16 posted on 06/03/2003 2:59:40 PM PDT by thatsnotnice
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To: Petronski
Gallo goes to all this trouble to get . . . Chloe Sevigny? He coulda had Winona Ryder!

Yea, but he might never have gotten his penis back.

17 posted on 06/03/2003 3:19:18 PM PDT by TomB
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To: thatsnotnice
Mr. Ebert and wife "Chaz":

Junkyard Sal is the woman in overalls pictured over the word "Beneath"


18 posted on 06/03/2003 3:39:17 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: thatsnotnice
Russ Meyer introduced Roger to the woman prior to filming (where they had some sort of affair). Roger didn't marry her for well over a decade.
19 posted on 06/03/2003 3:42:23 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: weegee
Mr. Ebert and wife "Chaz":

Yep, they look like a matched set. I guess you're right...

20 posted on 06/03/2003 3:53:48 PM PDT by thatsnotnice
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To: weegee
That several French critics liked it was................

Perfect example of French cultural superiority. LOL!

21 posted on 06/03/2003 4:02:13 PM PDT by breakem
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To: breakem
Here's a somewhat positive review from AintItCoolNews.com

The Brown Bunny
That was the big buzz of this festival. Vincent Gallo second film was very coldly received here. Mainly this was perceived as some very egotrip from the guy. Well, I admit that first hour and half seeing only Gallo on some road trip, seducing any girls he encounters, riding motobike endlessly or looking for a turtleneck in his van in a 4 minute scene can procure this feeling. As does the last part, where he’s given a b***j** by Chloé Sevigny without stand-ins for his **** or her mouth. But where does this magnetism come, this moving to tear feeling of seeing a sad tale of an abandoned man come from ? Yes, Brown bunny is irritating more than one time but it has the same guts of Monte Hellman, Michelangelo Antonioni and John Cassavetes films. I’m still not sure if I want to see it again, but I’m definitely sure I’ve seen with this film a pure moment of cinema.

I suppose that some could say that "Two-Lane Blacktop is a movie about a boring cross country race where there is no real racing and none of the characters even have names. There isn't even an ending!"

Mr. Ebert still hates Blue Velvet.

22 posted on 06/03/2003 4:23:57 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: weegee
Thanx for the info. I'll wait for it to be on IFC.

I can't watch Blue Velvet anymore. I kept getting asthma attacks.

23 posted on 06/03/2003 4:32:12 PM PDT by breakem
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To: Petronski
i saw his film buffalo 66 he is strange really strange....
24 posted on 06/03/2003 4:53:09 PM PDT by fishbabe
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To: Wacka
"...It wasn't supposed to be funny..."

Yes it was... and it was.

"Honey, where's the Billy picture?

25 posted on 06/03/2003 6:02:13 PM PDT by Jonx6
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To: Jonx6
The song that the father plays on the record player is sung in that recording by Vincent Gallo's dad (Vincent did the soundtrack to that film as well).

I searched FR for the Ebert dispute and didn't find it (it wasn't posted) but the similarity in date led me to question the reason for all the hate lobbed at this film. I still contend that there are some who seem to be taking special delight in slamming this film (and it's creator who did just about everything on this film).

Hollywood is a place that likes to trash the careers of those who don't play ball.

26 posted on 06/03/2003 7:04:45 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Petronski
From what I've read, that's not much of an accomplishment.
Her nickname in Hollywood is Wanna Ryder.

Now Kirsten Dunst, what a cute girl, that would be something to see. However, I suspect she's a little too classy for a movie like that.

Dunst turned down the nymph role in "American Beauty" because she thought the idea of a grown man pursuing his teenage daughter's friend was sick.
27 posted on 06/03/2003 9:02:16 PM PDT by Maximum Leader (run from a knife, close on a gun)
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To: Petronski
I can't say that she's my type but she does have other looks than that one (I would call that shot heroin chic fashion).

Here are some alternate views.

Mr. Gallo always seems rather unkempt to me as well but then I know I go out every now and then without shaving (or even washing my hair) myself. He's been in the NYC art world for over 20 years. Was "Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind" (by the Looney Clooney) any better of a film?

28 posted on 06/04/2003 2:02:42 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Maximum Leader
For what it's worth, here's a shot of "Wanna" and Chloe together:

Maybe Vincent has been there and done that (don't approach an actress about this job that hasn't already shown a commitment to the project?). Since Mr. Gallo's affairs with this woman )(women??)(who are far closer to him in age than the married X42 was to his prey) were conducted prior to employment, I do not seriously believe that he employed the "casting couch" in making this movie. I think that he wanted to tap a list of talent that he already personally knew for his film project (he has enough control that he calls the shots).

29 posted on 06/04/2003 2:15:22 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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