September 3, 2004


THE BROWN BUNNY / *** (ROGER EBERT, 9/03/04, Chicago Sun-Times)

In May of 2003 I walked out of the press screening of Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" at the Cannes Film Festival and was asked by a camera crew what I thought of the film. I said I thought it was the worst film in the history of the festival. That was hyperbole -- I hadn't seen every film in the history of the festival -- but I was still vibrating from one of the most disastrous screenings I had ever attended.

The audience was loud and scornful in its dislike for the movie; hundreds walked out, and many of those who remained only stayed because they wanted to boo. Imagine, I wrote, a film so unendurably boring that when the hero changes into a clean shirt, there is applause. The panel of critics convened by Screen International, the British trade paper, gave the movie the lowest rating in the history of their annual voting.

But then a funny thing happened. Gallo went back into the editing room and cut 26 minutes of his 118-minute film, or almost a fourth of the running time. And in the process he transformed it. The film's form and purpose now emerge from the miasma of the original cut, and are quietly, sadly, effective.

Mel Gibson may have done the Passion, but Mr. Gallo has effected a resurrection.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2004 8:35 AM

I liked Buffalo '66 enough that I might go watch this new one despite that scene. My sis and I will just have to help each other out in covering our eyes.

Posted by: mokulen at September 3, 2004 4:21 PM

btw, gallo is hard core conservative.

Posted by: neil at September 3, 2004 9:14 PM