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
For the film's promotion, a trailer was released featuring a split screen in the style of Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls, depicting on one side of the screen a single point-of-view-shot of a driver on a country road, and the other side various scenes from the end of the film featuring Chloë Sevigny. Both sides of the screen had no audio tracks attached, although the song "Milk and Honey" by folk singer Jackson C. Frank played over the trailer's duration. See more »
In the first shot that clearly shows Lilly at the rest area, she uncrosses her legs & then re-crosses them, right-over-left. In the next shot they are left-over-right, then another cut shows them right-over-left again. See more »
Since its world premiere at Cannes the movie has been re-edited although the sex scenes remain intact. The version that premiered theatrically in the US is 26 minutes shorter than the Cannes cut. See more »
Milk and Honey
Written and Performed by Jackson C. Frank
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
Published by Maxwood Music, Ltd. See more »
The Brown Bunny
Having heard so much about the infamous The Brown Bunny over the years, it was difficult to watch it with a blank mind devoid of expectations when I finally got to see it in the small hours of last night. Ultimately it's a fairly interesting effort, expectations or not. The plot is very simple: a motorcycle racer named Bud Clay (Vincent Gallo) begins a long cross-country journey in his van to the next racing location in California, all the while being haunted by memories of his former girlfriend Daisy (Chloë Sevigny) who he wishes to meet when arriving in his destination. On his way to her, he also picks up other women only to drop them off soon.
I wasn't bothered by the long scenes of Gallo silently driving by himself, even though the cramped mise en scène and grainy cinematography make them less easy to enjoy than such scenes in some other movies "where nothing ever happens". The trembling camera inside the van creates a feel of a documentary, while the more spaciously framed outdoor shots balance the mood with their artistic calmness. The scene of Bud taking his motorcycle out and riding it on a salt desert is especially good-looking and captures a sense of loneliness powerfully.
The very soft dialogue and Bud's habit of picking up and dropping off women provide hints to the nature of his relationship with Daisy. He also frequently cries by himself – what has happened between him and Daisy? The mystery gets its explanation at the end and the emotional payoff is pretty effective (and I'm not only talking about that one controversial scene but the whole revelation). The famous sex scene fits in the mood and its uncensored nature only adds to the rawness and prevents it from feeling phony.
Ultimately the film is a curious exploration of feelings of guilt, regret, longing and loneliness, and while it's not as visually stunning and haunting as, say, Gus Van Sant's Last Days, it certainly doesn't deserve all the hate it gets. Gallo and Sevigny are both good in their roles and the quiet atmosphere will have its admirers, but I think that some of the driving scenes still feel excessive even after Gallo's re-cutting of the film after the Cannes Film Festival incident. Perhaps some further trimming of the running time could have enhanced it, but I think The Brown Bunny is a worthwhile piece of cinema as it is now. For audiences who know what to expect, it should provide an enjoyable meditation on the emotional traumas people may encounter in life.
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