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The Brown Bunny is a 2003 independent American art house film written, produced and directed by actor Vincent Gallo.
The plot follows Bud Clay, a motorcycle racer, undertakes a cross-country drive, following a race in New Hampshire, in order to participate in a race in California. All the while he is haunted by memories of his former lover, Daisy. On his journey he meets other women, but is unable to form an emotional connection with any of them.
Also, at one point, Chloë Sevigny gives Vincent Gallo a blowjob. A real one. Really.
The film is noteworthy for the amount of controversy around it. First shown at the Cannes Film Festival, the film was booed and many walked out on it. The film was also greatly panned by critics, with director Gallo getting into an awesome war of words with critic Roger Ebert, and eventually losing. The film was later Re Cut and distributed. The finished product received mixed reviews, though ironically, Ebert gave this version a mildly positive 3 out of 4 stars review.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Dead Person Conversation: The twist at the end is that Bud is doing this with Daisy when they finally meet. She's already dead, and he's imagining her.
- Flower Motifs: All the women encountered by Bud have flower names.
- Hollywood Sex: The sex is real, which is ironic considering that the whole scene is actually a fantasy.
- Leave the Camera Running: The film features many extremely long shots, mostly of Bud driving his motorcycle, the road looking out of his windshield, or extremely close profiles of Bud as he drives.
- Moral Guardians: Due to the above mentioned oral sex scene, Sevigny's agency dropped her and it was thought her acting career was over.
- Re Cut: The version shown at the Cannes Film Festival was a rough cut that was apparently not fit for audiences. Once it was completed, critics responded more positively.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The red-band trailer reveals the final twist at the end, though you might not realize it. In fact, it basically sums up the entire movie: Bud drives his motorcycle while haunted by Daisy's death.
- Volleying Insults: To quote The Other Wiki:
A war of words then erupted between Gallo and film critic Roger Ebert, with Ebert writing that The Brown Bunny was the worst film in the history of Cannes, and Gallo retorting by calling Ebert a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader." Ebert then responded, paraphrasing a statement attributed to Winston Churchill, that "one day I will be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny." Gallo then claimed to have put a hex on Ebert's colon, cursing the critic with cancer. Ebert then replied that watching a video of his colonoscopy had been more entertaining than watching The Brown Bunny.