The Brown Bunny (2003)

It's the story of one man's tragic loss of the love of his life. He is Bud Clay. And he races motorcycles. He rides in the 250cc Formula II class of road racing. Round and round he goes, repeating laps over and over until the race is over. The story begins with Bud racing in New Hampshire. Bud's next race is in California in five Days. And so his journey begins across America. And everyday Bud is haunted by the same memories of the last time he saw his true love. Bud will do anything to make those memories disappear. And every day he tries to find a new love. Making outrageous requests of women to come with him on his trip and then leaving them behind after they've agreed. He can't replace Daisy, the only girl he's ever loved and the only girl he will ever love. But every day he tries.

Vincent Gallo shocked the 2003 Cannes Film Festival with this highly personal film that he wrote, directed, produced, edited, photographed, and stars in. Gallo plays Bud Clay, a motorcycle racer on his way from New Hampshire to California in a van. The cross-country trip includes stops at a gas station, where Clay meets and falls for a gas station attendant named Violet (Anna Vareschi); a roadside food stand, where he meets the sadly beautiful Lilly (Cheryl Tiegs, making her feature-film debut); and the Las Vegas strip, where he picks up local prostitute Rose (Elizabeth Blake). As he comes into contact with these women, he can't let go of his past, which centers around Daisy (Chloe Sevigny), whom he hopes to find when he returns home to Los Angeles.

Nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, THE BROWN BUNNY is a poignant, emotional drama that features long scenes with little or no dialogue, as Gallo uses natural sound and lighting, jazz and folk music, and long, lingering shots of the open road, raindrops on a windshield, and the scraggly-haired protagonist to create a nearly suffocating atmosphere of loss and loneliness. Winner of the FIPRESCI prize at the 2003 Viennale "for its bold exploration of yearning and grief and for its radical departure from dominant tendencies in current American filmmaking," THE BROWN BUNNY is sure to cause a stir because of its infamous and shocking X-rated sex scene near the end of the picture, although it is a tender, soft, and powerfully subtle film.


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