Professional motorcycle racer Bud Clay heads from New Hampshire to California to race again. Along the way he meets various needy women who provide him with the cure to his own loneliness, but only a certain woman from his past will truly satisfy him.
After racing in New Hampshire, the lonely motorcycle racer Bud Clay drives his van in a five-day journey to California for the next race. Along his trip, he meets fan, lonely women, prostitutes, but he leaves them since he is actually looking for the woman he loves, Daisy. He goes to her house and leaves a note telling where he is lodged. Out of the blue, Daisy appears in his hotel room and soon he learns why he cannot find her. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I had heard about the controversy surrounding The Brown Bunny (who hadn't?)--the feud with Roger Ebert, the graphic sex scene--so when I received an invitation to a press screening, I jumped at the chance to see what the trailer calls "the most controversial American film ever made". What the trailer and all the hype didn't prepare me for was the fact that The Brown Bunny could also be considered one of the most original American films ever made. In a time of overblown budgets and enormous productions with endless crew lists, Vincent Gallo has almost single-handedly made a concise, well-thought out, conceptual film--a poignant, touching love story. It's not often that a director's second film is more daring than his first--money, greed and Hollywood power seem too tempting to most and sophomore efforts usually represent the big sell out. Not so The Brown Bunny, not so Gallo the iconoclast. He manages to make a second film more interesting, more intimate, more revealing and more memorable than his first. And he manages to do it outside the system.
Gallo's instincts as a director are spot-on. Not only does he pull from Chloe Sevigny the performance of her career, he also solicits from a cast of complete unknowns and non-actors (including Cheryl Tiegs) painfully believable performances. I have always thought his talents as an actor were underrated, but surely The Brown Bunny will provide him his due as Bud Clay, a motorcycle racer undergoing a breakdown while driving across the country. Simply put, Gallo as Bud is devastating. At one point during the film, I was so tense watching him fall apart that I realized that I had been holding my breath through the entire scene. When you stop to think that he is also directing himself and directing the photography, it's that much more impressive.
I don't know how someone circumvents the Hollywood system to make a movie in this day and age, but it seems that Gallo has not only done that, but done it in a way that is memorable, haunting and visually stunning. This is a truly radical film made by a very courageous filmmaker, someone willing to tell a story, tell it honestly and suffer the consequences of his convictions. Pasolini would be proud.
176 of 311 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?