The Brown Bunny

Dir: Vincent Gallo, 2003. Starring: Vincent Gallo, Chloë Sevigny, Cheryl Tiegs. Cult.
The Brown Bunny

It could be a hearty bias that this is currently one of my favorite feature-length independent films. With that said, I understand that it is arguably very exclusive in terms of its audience. The Brown Bunny, written and directed by Vincent Gallo, might lend itself to being watched a few times before going down smoothly.

This film is the haunting story of Bud Clay (Vincent Gallo)—a professional motorcycle racer caught in his own literal nightmare. A repetitive adventure from New Hampshire to California coming across women that he attempts to let into his life with haste in order to mend his loneliness. But as he soon discovers, the ghost and memory of his only true love Daisy (Chloë Sevigny) is not only irreplaceable, but at the peak of his heart's desire and torment. Though Bud tries daily to fill the void of her existence, the film concludes with us being able to view the tragic end of their love and leaves a bold statement you won’t soon forget. A statement, etched in pulchritude, of a nature that only the human race suffers and yet is one of the eerie qualities that still manages to make it wonderful and unique.

I first saw the film when I was seventeen--a few years prior to my knowledge of the existence and idea behind independent, art-house, or Dogma films. I disliked it; was bored by it; was unsettled by it. A few years passed and film became a very important part in my life, mainly because I could finally see it as a form of art, and not just entertainment. It was then that I watched The Brown Bunny for a second time with the conclusion that it is one of the saddest and most beautiful films I have ever seen.

To understand that sadness and beauty is to understand both romantic love and the tragedy within certain attachments. Gallo and Sevigny deliver condensed, powerful characters that need not say much in order to reach past the screen and affect you. My only warning upon seeing this film is that you be in the mood for escapism, via a long drive and seemingly infinite scenery. The soundtrack also comes highly recommended featuring a dreary and superb folk song, "Milk and Honey," sung by Jackson C. Frank, among other interesting tunes.

Posted by:
Edythe Smith
Feb 8, 2010 5:02pm
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