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Ebert says "Worst film in history of Cannes" -- THE BROWN BUNNY


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#1 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:40 AM

France--Coming up for air like an exhausted swimmer, the Cannes Film Festival produced two splendid films on Wednesday morning, after a week of the most dismal entries in memory. Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasion," from Quebec, and Errol Morris' documentary "The Fog of War," about Robert McNamara, are in their different ways both masterpieces about old men who find a kind of wisdom.

But that is not the headline. The news is that on Tuesday night, Cannes showed a film so shockingly bad that it created a scandal here on the Riviera not because of sex, violence or politics, but simply because of its awfulness.

Those who saw Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" have been gathering ever since, with hushed voices and sad smiles, to discuss how wretched it was. Those who missed it hope to get tickets, for no other film has inspired such discussion. "The worst film in the history of the festival," I told a TV crew posted outside the theater. I have not seen every film in the history of the festival, yet I feel my judgment will stand.

Imagine 90 tedious minutes of a man driving across America in a van. Imagine long shots through a windshield as it collects bug splats. Imagine not one but two scenes in which he stops for gas. Imagine a long shot on the Bonneville Salt Flats where he races his motorcycle until it disappears as a speck in the distance, followed by another shot in which a speck in the distance becomes his motorcycle. Imagine a film so unendurably boring that at one point, when he gets out of his van to change his shirt, there is applause.

And then, after half the audience has walked out and those who remain stay because they will never again see a film so amateurish, narcissistic, self-indulgent and bloody-minded, imagine a scene where the hero's lost girl reappears, performs fellatio in a hard-core scene and then reveals the sad truth of their relationship.

Of Vincent Gallo, the film's star, writer, producer, director, editor and only begetter, it can be said that this talented actor must have been out of his mind to (a) make this film and (b) allow it to be seen. Of Chloe Sevigny, who plays the girlfriend, Daisy, it must be said that she brings a truth and vulnerability to her scene that exists on a level far above the movie it is in.

If Gallo had thrown away all of the rest of the movie and made the Sevigny scene into a short film, he would have had something. That this film was admitted into Cannes as an Official Selection is inexplicable. By no standard, through no lens, in any interpretation, does it qualify for Cannes. The quip is: This is the most anti-American film at Cannes, because it is so anti-American to show it as an example of American filmmaking.




I did not link the whole article because it contained a typical Roger Ebert knuckleheaded political reference to which I will not spread further. Those who wish to seek it out know where to find it. This guy almost monthly has to bash the administration. Too bad, the fat bastard's a good critic.
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#2 of 257 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:47 AM

Quote:
I did not link the whole article because it contained a typical Roger Ebert knuckleheaded political reference to which I will not spread further. Those who wish to seek it out know where to find it. This guy almost monthly has to bash the administration. Too bad, the fat bastard's a good critic.


I think these types of comments are making him a lesser critic. Just my opinion.

#3 of 257 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:50 AM

Quote:
Too bad, the fat bastard's a good critic.

So it's not okay for him to bash, but it's okay for you? :-/

Can't say the film sounds any good...
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#4 of 257 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:51 AM

I think these types of comments are making him a lesser critic. Just my opinion.


I couldn't disagree more strongly. These comments are one of the many reasons that I really appreciate Roger Ebert. I don't think that it's anything new for him to speak his mind, as he's been doing it for years. I applaud anybody who has a voice and actually uses it. If you don't like his political comments then let him know and stop reading his column.

#5 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:57 AM

Quote:
If you don't like his political comments then let him know and stop reading his column.


I do e-mail him regularly stating that his out of the blue administration bashing is ruining my enjoyment of his film expertise


BTW does that review mean to say that Cloe Sevegney ACTUALLY blows Gallo on screen?!?
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#6 of 257 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:58 AM

Quote:
So it's not okay for him to bash, but it's okay for you?

I was thinking the exact same thing.
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There's a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures.  The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves.
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#7 of 257 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted May 22 2003 - 02:59 AM

I love it when Ebert takes the gloves off. He has a great sense of humor.

As for his politics, I see nothing wrong with what he said. For the most critical reason, he stated his opinion as an opinion, and he did it responsibly. Which so few folks in the entertainment industry do these days (or any days). That doesn't mean I always (or usually) agree with him. Just that I do read what he says.

Sad to hear Cannes was Cannes, but worse, this year. It long ago ceased to be about film, in my opinion. It's about the business and the filmmakers now...not the art itself.

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#8 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:02 AM

Quote:
So it's not okay for him to bash, but it's okay for you?


Im bashing Roger Ebert in a thread about a ROGER EBERT column.

Roger Ebert bashes George Bush in a review of The Life of David Gale, Rumsfeld in a review about a McNamara Documntry, and Trent Lott in a Gods and Generals review (ok Lott was in the movie but Robert Byrd was never mentioned)

The worst movie in Cannes history draws no pop but I call Ebert fat and the forum is up in arms!
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#9 of 257 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:05 AM

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If you don't like his political comments then let him know and stop reading his column.


I have stopped reading his reviews. He did actually e-mail me back once. I really appreciated that.

#10 of 257 OFFLINE   CharlesD

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:26 AM

And for those who can tolerate opinions different from their own, here is a link to the article: http://www.suntimes.....-cannes22.html

#11 of 257 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:30 AM

Quote:
And for those who can tolerate opinions different from their own, here is a link to the article:


This isn't about toleration or suppressing speech. It's about what I like to see in a movie review. And I don't like to see political comment, unless perhaps the movie is inherently political.

#12 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:37 AM

Charles! You really showed me!

Went out of your way to do that, huh?

I guess MY choice not to include a link was'nt important.
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#13 of 257 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:38 AM

Quote:
This isn't about toleration or suppressing speech. It's about what I like to see in a movie review. And I don't like to see political comment, unless perhaps the movie is inherently political.
Chris, the film Ebert was reviewing vis the Rummy remark is inherently political (Errol Morris' "The Fog of War" about Robert McNamara).
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#14 of 257 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:41 AM

I know, Rich, and thanks for pointing that out. My comment was more general than the specific film at question here. Posted Image

#15 of 257 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:46 AM

McNamara at 85 is forceful, plain-spoken, merciless on himself and others. This is not a sad old man but a man who is still healthy, powerful and thoughtful, who analyzes his actions with no apologies and no evasions.
I doubt that Donald Rumsfeld will want to see this film, but it could prove enormously valuable to him.



is this the reference that got some peoples panties in a bunch?

#16 of 257 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:58 AM

Hard to believe, ain't it?

Are there any alternate opinions of Gallo's film, or has it been thrashed by everyone? I have to say, if he realized it wasn't going well, adding a blowjob scene might have ensured both festival exhibition and maybe even a distribution deal! Oh, my cynicism knows no bounds...
"Only one is a wanderer;
Two together are always going somewhere."

#17 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 03:58 AM

Not really that remark that got me in a bunch. Thats minor, read Eberts Review of The Life of David Gale. He breaks off, mid review, to blast Bush as Govenor of Texas on his death penalty record in the most condecending manner, then rejoins the review. The attack added nothing to the review of the film.

Since then I notice it crop up. I saw it here, mentioned it in passing. CHOSE not to include the link. Called Ebert fat (which I think is the real motivation behind this threads anger) and a firestorm arose!
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#18 of 257 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted May 22 2003 - 04:01 AM

I trust that Eberts in with the film purist 'in-crowd' at Cannes and if he says everyone hated it I have to believe him. (Look at me tolerating people with dessenting opinion, I sure have matured!) When will we see the 2 disk SE with Gallo's commentary and 'uncut, unrated' version.
"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what someone else did." - Thomas Sowell

#19 of 257 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

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Posted May 22 2003 - 04:03 AM

Everyone, let's keep on topic please. This is about the reported awfulness of Vincent Gallo's new film.

I for one was a bit surprised to hear the reaction to Gallo's film after reading the plot synopsis. I didn't think the film would be THAT bad and therefore even allowable to screen at Caanes, but there you go. Posted Image

Jason
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#20 of 257 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted May 22 2003 - 04:03 AM

What I demand to know is why was there no Christina Ricci blowjob scene in "Buffalo '66"?
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Two together are always going somewhere."


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