The Brown Bunny
The most infamous film in recent years is finally available to see on DVD. As with most over-hyped vanity projects, it’s neither as awful or shocking as the ink would lead one to believe. The first 70 minutes of the film detail Bud Clay (writer - director - producer - cinematographer Vincent Gallo) driving to California. He’s rarely in the centre of the frame, often disappearing in the composition. He seems vaguely depressed and has a couple of odd (fantasy?) encounters with women along the way. Fans of Gus Van Sant’s Gerry or Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas may enjoy the hypnosis of the road and the desolate beauty of the American landscape, well captured here. The final 20 minutes explain Bud’s gloom but seem tacked on. An explicit sex scene between Gallo and Chloe Sevigny is hardly necessary to the story — it’s particularly exploitative when one considers the traditional relationship between director and performer. The Brown Bunny is at best a diverting curiosity, at worst, dull and narcissistic.