Capone Takes A Shot In The Mouth From THE BROWN BUNNY'S Vincent Gallo!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
Wait... I mean interviews him. That’s what that means, right? At any rate, here’s the director of THE BROWN BUNNY sitting down with our man in Chicago just hours after he finally met Roger Ebert face-to-face. There’s some great stuff in here, and I think our own Mr. Beaks also interviewed Gallo, but here in LA. We’ll have that one for you later in the week, along with my review of this much-reviled and often-discussed picture.
Hey, everyone. Capone in Chicago here. I was going through my regular morning routine today, when I heard Howard Stern say that he was having Vincent Gallo on his show next week. Uh oh. That seemed like as good a cue as any that I needed to get on the ball and get my interview with him transcribed. As I said in my review of THE BROWN BUNNY recently, my interview with Gallo occurred just a few hours after his first face-to-face encounter with Roger Ebert, so that was forefront in my mind. Despite the fact that I was tape recording our conversation so I didn't misquote this man, he said he was distrustful of tapes. "Some magazine published as fact that I apologized to Roger Ebert after our exchange regarding the Cannes screening of THE BROWN BUNNY. That just wasn't true. Then the magazine said they had it on tape, and everybody said, 'It must be true if they have the tape.' Strangely enough, they never produced the tape. For the record, I never apologized to Ebert," he said.
I hadn't even pushed the Record button, and he was already on the defensive. But I'd just seen him do a post-screening Q&A, where he charmed the hell out of the audience, so I knew somewhere in there was a guy I could talk to. I was right. Forgive the typos...
Capone: I know it's bad form to ask how someone else's interview went, but how did your meeting with Roger Ebert go?
Vincent Gallo: I'll not only tell you, I'll tell you in detail. He was a beyond-likeable person. He's an incredibly open-minded person. And I think that some of the points I made to him, I know that he carefully listened to everything I had to say and he responded after digesting what I had to say. He didn't have a thing planned; we had a very unguarded dialogue together.
I noticed a couple of things about him that changed my perception of him dramatically. First of all, he has a remarkable wife, and their relationship is incredible. It's one of those classic relationships between a man and a woman who really like each other, who share a lot of time together, who have a dynamic together. She's a very nurturing, together, strong woman. I'm sure she's been great in his life. And when you meet people like that, you see them in another way. They become a real person to you, and it becomes impossible for you to speak of them in the abstract any longer.
Capone: Was she there during the interview?
V.G.: She was there. The three of us were there together, and we talked about everything. We talked about the hex, about everything. And it was the most enjoyable time I've had with a journalist in my life, because it was so unusual and bizarre. And because he's such a notorious figure in my life. I've never met him before; I've never even seen him in person. So I felt like I was having a dialogue with someone whose level of commitment to what they do is at least as equal to mine if not more. They showed me the seat that he sits in every day in the screening room and watches movies all the time. He certainly is not an unlikeable person, and he's very bright guy. And he's a throwback too. He's a '50s-'60s kid, which are my favorite people to talk to because my sense is to like a lot of things from at time.
I reached out to him toward the end of what we had to say on something I thought was important. I reminded him that he has no real power in the mainstream cinema. Him and I both hated THE VILLAGE. We both thought it was a horrendous film, but we both know that there's nothing he can do to stop the film's success because the film is marketing and merchandised by people with a louder voice than him, advertising people. But the people that he could hurt dramatically are people who are not protected by movie companies like that. To say that THE BROWN BUNNY was the worst movie in Cannes history--which translates for most to the worst film every made--without...to say the film failed for him, to say "I think this is what this guy tried to do, but for me it didn't work at all. I found it excruciating"...
Capone: Did he even go that far? I don't remember hearing his analysis of the movie beyond the "worst film at Cannes" quote.
V.G.: No, he didn't. That's the point. And I told him that the reason I singled you out and attacked you is because you didn't just hurt my film, you didn't just hurt me and the perception of me in the festival as a whole, you made the gap between mainstream cinema and non-mainstream cinema broader because you have made people frightened to even take a chance. If somebody takes a chance and they fail, the interpretation is that they are horrible and worthless. That's a very dangerous thing. And he thought about it for a second and began to defend it, but I think he understood what I meant. Then he reminded me of all the films that he did support that were marginal-budget works.
Capone: Including BUFFALO 66 a few years ago.
V.G.: I don't know if he was that big a fan of that film. He didn't give it a glowing review, but they didn't give it a bad review.
Capone: True, but for non-Chicagoans who don't have daily access to his in-depth reviews, it was a thumbs up from Roger Ebert.
V.G.: Yes. And quite frankly, he's the person responsible for bringing the New York independent film world to the more mainstream level by giving Jim Jarmusch's STRANGER THAN PARADISE a positive review. I simply reminded him that I'm comfortable with his interpretation of THE BROWN BUNNY, of him saying that the film didn't work for him. He can't just simply just say it's the worst movie. The worst movie means that you put Nichole Richie in ROCKY 10, and you had the guy who writes some trashy TV show rewrite the script, and everything is a cashout and a sell out and a compromise, when the intentions stink from the beginning. You can't say that to a film when it's clear that the intention is better than that and the risk is bigger than that and the language at least stands on its own in some original sense. You just can't do that. It makes it then impossible to inspire someone to take risk whether they're successful or not. If you throw a pass to a receiver and he made a diving effort to catch it but it went off his fingertips, would you say, "That idiot fucked up the game"?
Capone: Did he give any indication that this final cut of the film was better than what he saw at Cannes?
V.G.: One of the reasons I originally banned him from the Chicago screening and the purpose of that was that I felt that he should have to live with that original review forever. Meaning that I wanted secretly for him to have to live with that review and be the person who made those comments about that film, so if the film gained any respect in any way, he would always be the person who went that far against it. In the end, I made the smarter choice which was to let him see the film. I felt strongly that if he didn't like the film at Cannes, he wouldn't like the film now, and I feel strongly that if an audience of 3,000 boo's the opening credits and starts heckling two minutes into the film, how much of the response to the film at Cannes could have been the film itself. What I will say is that if the film was more conventional and could play to bigger audiences, the film may have pulled people in, but the film certainly wouldn't push people out. The film just didn't have what it takes to bring in a prejudice, apprehensive, pedestrian-level crowd.
Capone: You mentioned in your Q&A that the Cannes crowd was "displaced" coming into the film. Are you concerned that North American audiences in general now are displaced to this film, those who even know about it?
V.G.: I've tried to do whatever I can to eliminate that. But what I realized is that at a festival you can have a room full of displaced people, but you can't maintain that every day. Eventually, the film takes on a life of its own. That's why festivals are not really the best places to show difficult movies.
Capone: Or an unfinished movie.
V.G.: Definitely not a place to show an unfinished movie. Unlike Francis Ford Coppola and his most highly overrated film of all time APOCALYPSE NOW, which is a good movie but it's a bit overrated. He had this incredible ending in the film initially that he test screened and said was a work in progress at Cannes many years ago. Then he put that very compromised ending on the film, which really took me out of the film. I felt ashamed that people thought I would react to what the crowd said at Cannes. People forget that I was booed at Sundance. Did you know that BUFFALO 66 was booed and heckled at Sundance. It won no prizes. I've never won a festival prize. I've never been supported by those indie circles in my life, those Independent Spirit Awards have never even invited me to be in the crowd. BUFFALO 66 was unsold, no one bought it. Lions Gate was forced to release it on its own. The BROWN BUNNY experience at Cannes was not the first time I've had resistance to my films. THE BROWN BUNNY was just more notorious than what happened at Sundance.
Capone: That may work in your favor ultimately. I was at the same screening this afternoon that Roger Ebert attended, and the room was fairly full. It's not that big a theatre.
V.G.: Did people sit through the whole movie?
Capone: Absolutely, no one left.
V.G.: No one heckled the film? They didn't boo?
Capone: No, it was quiet the entire time. There were a couple points in the scenes with you and the elderly couple where people laughed, but it seemed appropriate. It was a respectful group.
V.G.: That is an uncomfortably funny scene. That's great to hear.
Capone: You seem very concerned and very aware of not only the reaction to the film but of your own image. You said during the Q&A that you didn't think you were a very likeable person. You called yourself the "greaseball from Buffalo." But the fact is that putting you in front of a crowd almost proves the opposite is true.
V.G.: Here's what I can say: if you look closely in detail of everything I saw in the written word, I don't translate very well because I communicate in multiple ways at the same time. When I get in front of an audience, I can say sarcastically things, I can insult somebody, I can tell a joke, I can say a swear word. When you see me, I can express myself better that way. When it's between you and I right now, there's certain mood we'll have. How you translate that mood later on is out of my control, and that's why I like to appear on my own behalf. And that's why I feel I can win anybody over. In the end, it doesn't help my work if I become a living conceptual piece of art. In fact, if I would have never spoke ever in my life and I would have put different names on all the credits of all the multitasks things I do on my film [Gallo's name is listed in nearly every aspect of putting together THE BROWN BUNNY, including cinematography, editing, writing, directing, producing], my work would be looked at differently and each particular fake name on those credits would be regarded differently. By multitasking on a film, you diminish yourself in a sense. No one really hired me after BUFFALO 66 as an actor, no one's every asked me to compose music for a film. The times that I've worked after BUFFALO 66 were for productions that were in desperate trouble, somebody fell out, productions where they couldn't attract anybody to the movie. And I did every film after BUFFALO 66 that I did, except for TROUBLE EVERY DAY for Claire Denis, I did for the money, and the people who cast me in those movies only did so because they had to or needed to at that point. None of my contemporaries, none of the Darren Aronofskys, the Wes Andersons, the Spike Lees, the Paul Thomas Andersons, the Todd Solondzs, none of them have ever approached me to even be in a small scene in a film, or photograph or edit or script doctoring or the music or design a poster for their films.
V.G.: I'll tell you two things before I answer. [Credited BUFFALO 66 cinematographer] Lance Acord never shot a feature film in his life. He was a button pusher on BUFFALO 66. I worked with my gaffer, I put that camera crew together myself. It wasn't Lance's camera crew. I fired Dick Pope, or Dick Pope quit, but I forced him to quit, and just hired Lance because the bond company said I had to have a cinematographer under the condition that I was going to control everything and he was just there as a figurehead. He didn't have anything to do with the processing, the development of the film stock, the techniques, the compositions, the designs, or the concept of the photography. Yet after BUFFALO 66, him, Gucci Westman, the hair and makeup girl who came in way late into the film--I had already done Christina [Ricci's] makeup. Lance, Gucci, and Christina, their careers were severely enhanced by being in this film. I never got any offers after BUFFALO 66. I had more respect given to me as an actor before BUFFALO 66.
And I think it's for two reasons. Filmmakers, one you make your own film, maybe they're afraid to cast you in another person's film because they think they won't have as domineering a relationship with you. That you might try and run the show on some level. If anything, the truth is the opposite. You gain a new respect for filmmakers when you realize how much you could destroy their film, and you remember what people did to you. I was poorly behaved on a Kiefer Sutherland movie [TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M., which Sutherland directed and co-starred with Gallo], partly Kiefer's fault. He really hammered me. But thinking back now, no matter what people did to me or what he said to me, I would have never taken the low road with him again. In retrospect, he was a beautiful person to reach out and want me to star in his film anyway. Looking back, when I think of Kiefer, he's one of the few people in my life that I have real regret of having a poor relationship with because he was such a great guy and good friend before we started filming. We just had some itchy moments when we were battling out creative control issues. I felt it was probably hard for him to have me in the lead for his film, a role that he would have traditionally played. I didn't respond to him well as a filmmaker and I regret it. Just on a personal level, because whether I liked the film or not isn't important. Whether the film is terrible or not isn't important. What's important is that I'd accepted the role in the film and I should have done everything I could to give him everything he wanted, or I shouldn't have accepted the role. For that I have regret. But even in the end, he was a nice person and fun to work with.
Capone: I've heard and read you talk about the process of filmmaking--the types of cameras, lenses, film stock--the same way you talk about cars and welding and motorcycles. It's very--and I mean this in a positive way--working class, hands on. It's a job and not as strictly an art form to you, which I would not have expected from you based on the company you keep.
V.G.: Be careful. You only know through hearsay the company I keep. I spend most of my time with people who have shared hobby interests with me. My technician who fixes my audio equipment. I spend way more time with him than all my other friends put together. And my friends that I am close with, like Johnny Ramone, who doesn't care about art whatsoever, he's not a fan of my work, I'm not a fan of The Ramones, we don't collaborate. The idea of us doing anything together musically is absurd. We're grouchy, grumpy friends from New York. He's a working class ex-construction worker, I'm a working class ex-construction worker. We like baseball; we talk about baseball all the time. But I have an esoteric nature and conceptual ideas and I'm a really aesthetic person, but I'm no less proud of fixing a broken refrigeration compressor than I am storyboarding a difficult scene in a film. In fact, if you knew me better and came over to my house every day, it would be very infrequent that I would say, "Hey, listen to this song. What do you think?" It would be more like, "Look at how I organized my storage room." "Did you see my floor? Do you like it duller or shinier?" I would pound you for hours on things like that. Unfortunately, I bring that to filmmaking, which means I exhaust myself in departments I don't need to exhaust myself in.
Capone: You can tell that just from the credits. Yet strangely enough, you didn't score this film.
V.G.: No. I made a record called "When," which was the music for THE BROWN BUNNY. That's why the song "Honey Bunny" is on there, but mostly the instrumental tracks from that album. But then John Frusciante became interested in the screenplay, and I asked him to do music for the film. John's a very active person, incredibly rigorous person in one way, unlike me. I clean it all, I fix it all, I organize it all, I buy it all, I sell it all. John can't deal with any part of life, but he does work at music all day. So he started handing me songs immediately. In a sense, he did the soundtrack to the film because I shot to his music, I cut to his music. But when the film was done, the film and the music didn't have a contrast together anymore. Instead of working together to create something else, they sort of lay there stale together, and I wound up using other music.
Capone: The songs selections here are inspired at times. I really liked the Gordon Lightfoot song "Beautiful."
V.G.: Thank you. The amount of time I spent choosing the music of the film would be unbelievable to you. The funny thing is, when it's not right, you spend all your time playing songs for people saying, "What do you think of this one? How about this one? How about this one?" You're dying, when you're on that level. When you hit it, it's so obvious and you immediately get a desperate feeling that says, "How am I going to get the rights? Are they going to fuck me on the rights to this song?" And guess who are the worst people in the movie business. The licensing people. They are most miserable, mean, selfish, insensitive, regressive, unproductive on the planet earth. You don't know what it's like to feel so strong about something and not have a budget to make that go away. It's not like I was looking to get some Paul McCartney song for my movie; I'm talking about esoteric music. Some of the music in the film didn't even exist, I had to rebuild the original master tapes that had decomposed. I had to re-bake the tape stock, the emulsion on the tape had peeling off. I'm the only person in the world who would salvage this particular recording because I had an original three-track machine and I knew how to bake that type of Ampex tape. The tape would have disappeared in two more years, and it's highly spliced. Then to be ballbusted for a year and a half on the licensing on that music. We talk about how long it took for me to get the film out after Cannes was because the film wasn't ready due to negative problems. I wanted to use this technique to blow up the negative in a new way. That's why I waited so long to finish the film. But it turns out that I would have had to wait seven, eight months anyway was the releases for the music. If you were dealing with the musician directly, you wouldn't have these problems. It's the people representing these artists that kill the process. I realize if you want to use the Beatles song "Revolution" to sell eyeglasses, I understand the exploitation of that. I understand that I'm using culturally significant relics to manipulate people into attaching those to my product. But if I'm using a rare piece of music by and unknown artist, not to brag, but the people whose music I use in my films sell way more records than they were selling before they were in my film. Proof of it is, the Italian artist who did this one jazz piece in my movie had sold 600 copies worldwide before my movie. Before my film was released just on the announcement that they were included people tracked down the music, and they sold something like 6,000 more copies. Why you're treated like you're exploiting this music makes no sense. If they're going to make a tough deal for you, just be up front about it. But this sort of, "We don't have time for you. What do you want?" stringing along is nonsense. And I'm the producer on THE BROWN BUNNY. I didn't have a music supervisor. I did the licensing for BUFFALO 66 and THE BROWN BUNNY. And of all my memories of making the film, that's my most painful memories.
Capone: I did want to talk about the content of THE BROWN BUNNY specifically. For the record, I absolutely loved this movie. I'm a big fan of films that allow an audience time and space to meditate on the subject at hand. It cherishes the smallest moments in life. There are these encounters with strangers, women that don't end up amounting to anything, but cumulatively it speaks to lonely people looking for any kind of human contact. It's also a profoundly sad film as well. The ending sex scene is not at all what I thought it would be. Knowing that scene was coming adds a layer of tension to the proceedings that I hadn't expected, and you probably hadn't intended. The sex act is not a pleasant moment in your character's life.
V.G.: It's not sexually enhancing.
Capone: Right. It's not sexy. It's disturbing. [I said a little bit more about the ending here, but I don't want to give away any details.]
V.G.: So you picked up on that. That's great.
Capone: I wasn't always thinking about what was going on on the screen. More often I was contemplating what must be going through the Bud character's mind.
V.G.: There's a way to engage people in minimalism that's different than engaging them in titillation. My intention was, not in a direct plot, I wanted things to happen on a smaller level so that each thing had more importance. Things that seem less than ordinary or significant would have these metaphors that meant a lot. So that you'd prepared yourself of this idea and not remain desensitized to people's human experiences. You find out on the news that someone has been shot and killed. You can't imagine what that experience is like for the family. In fact, if you experience it yourself, you can't remember it years later. In sexual issues and intimacy issues, especially intimacy tragedy, it's hard to remember exactly your pathological course when you're in deep grief, especially romantic grief. I wanted to put the film in a slower continuity because when you're in that state of grief, you're suspended and time goes by slower and things make impressions on you because you're in another rhythm. The film has a sort of disturbing nature that is not sexually enticing. I remember I snuck a book out of a friends house when I was a kid, a book of deformed people, a freaks book. I looked at the pictures and they disturbed me on an emotional level because I started thinking about people's lives and what they were like and what they were thinking, and it remained in my mind for a long time. People's physical behavior in sexualized ways has always been a portrait to enhance sexuality, and I think it's disturbing to watch yourself or watch other people do things because you're no longer filled with sexual thought, you're more objective. There's something disturbing about that.
Capone: If I hadn't known that scene with Chloe was coming, I never would have guessing based on Bud's behavior up to that point that that scene was coming. It arrives out of no where. It's disturbing at all points, but particularly what you discover after the act is complete. You try to think whether you've ever experienced that kind of pain over someone to the extent Bud does. I don't think I have, but I'm not sure I never would either.
V.G.: I masturbate to only girls I've been in love with, people I've had relationships with. I only think about Bethany, a girlfriend that I broke up with four years ago. I haven't had a sexual thought about another girl since her. If I meet someone new and we get close, then that will be my new reference because that's how I am. When we first broke up, I had a lot of resentment, fear, and anger, and it was difficult to let my mind fill up with sexual thoughts. I even remember having thoughts of her with a guy I was jealous of, and there were all kinds of complicated thoughts. I never noticed I did things like that until I wrote this script. I never noticed that people did things like that. To sexualize somebody that you have so many unresolved feeling for is very intense.
Capone: And the last time Bud saw [Chloe Sevigny's character] Daisy was under such ugly circumstances.
V.G.: If you watch the film very carefully, he begins the sexual encounter by asking her if she likes it, does she like doing it to him. Then he starts to objectize her, he saw her do this, do that. When he climaxes, he's in the thick of that portion. Then he says, "I'm so stupid." As if he made a mistake again, as if letting her come over was something he should have known better about.
Capone: Do you feel that way about Bethany when you climax?
V.G.: No. I had so much love for Bethany. It was only for that brief moment when we first broke up that my sexual thoughts about her were complex. She's the love of my life, she's the girl I like the most. The saddest thing about today with Ebert was thinking about how I've never been able to be like he is with his wife with anybody before. We were only like that for a very short period of time because our relationship got corrupted. When I saw Ebert and his wife together, I'm sure they have their ups and downs, but they're a real couple. There's something beautiful about a real couple. And to be a part of a real couple, you have to be a real person. That's why I said I'll always know that he's a real person now because he can show up and be a real person in a relationship. I know that sounds hokey. People always talk about what they're looking for in a relationship, but you just become a person who is loveable, capable of giving love and getting love, and hope that you find someone like that as well.
Great interview, man. I agree with Gallo about Ebert and his wife. When they hosted me at the Overlooked Film Festival a few years ago, I was struck by what a great, interesting couple they are. Chaz is a real force of nature, and she’s not just there as Roger’s wife. She brings a lot to the table herself in every conversation, and she leaves a heck of an impression on everyone who meets her. It speaks well of Gallo that he was able to walk into that encounter so open-minded and walk away changed. I don’t think THE BROWN BUNNY is the film that people expect, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens once people actually get a look at it starting next weekend in New York and LA.
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Aug. 22, 2004, 6:53 p.m. CST
But he does ride his own nuts way too much.
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:15 p.m. CST
There's something pathetic about a filmmaker arguing with a critic over a review of his film. And he provided way more information about his sex life than I really needed to know.
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:26 p.m. CST
do we get to see mira take one in the mouth?!?!@
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:29 p.m. CST
by The Fat Baldwin
Gallo -- what a fuck. He didn't even mention that Toronto was the first place the movie was well-received, or at least he didn't metion it enough. It was shown in the now-demolished Uptown theatre where hundreds packed the theatre. There were a few walkouts but he left the theatre smiling. We even had one of the best QA exchanges ever, "Are you responsible for Ebert's cancer?". Gallo: "I'd like to think so."
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:34 p.m. CST
...of what anyone thinks about Gallo, I think we can all agree with him in saying that The Village sucked ass.
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:43 p.m. CST
since when was t.o. a major stop on any circuit! frenchman!
Aug. 22, 2004, 7:52 p.m. CST
Thanks for the great and insightful interview. Vincent Gallo is a difficult person to understand, but I thought I came to know him and his intentions better through this interview than anywhere else. Like, a lot of folks I was perplexed when I heard about The Brown Bunny, but I'm glad I got a chance to hear his side of things. And now, my interest in the film goes beyond just seeing a famous actress "perform" (hey, I'm a guy, forgive me for having prurient thoughts) I actually am curious to watch the story unfold. I hope that Gallo continues to make more films. I might not always understand or agree with his voice, but at least he has a voice.
Aug. 22, 2004, 9:22 p.m. CST
Turnabout is fair play, me bucko, let's see you go down on an actress for real on the silver screen. Make sure it's just as degrading - I nominate Kirstie Alley for the titular role.
Aug. 22, 2004, 10:17 p.m. CST
pun intended. But yeah, I'll read the articles but there's no way in hell any AICN pimping can actually make me want to watch this piece of self-indulgent masturbatory crap. "contemplative". Jesus fuckin christ. What a piece of shit this sounds like.
Aug. 22, 2004, 10:35 p.m. CST
I guess I've just been "displaced" when watching what I thought was bad. Thanks for clearing that up.
Aug. 23, 2004, 1:42 a.m. CST
From imdb.com: Vincent Gallo has been accused of pulling a three-page essay he penned for a publication at the last minute - due to the magazine's refusal to place a self-portrait on the cover. The Village Voice's editor-in-chief Don Furst refused to run the actor's full-page photo self-portrait on the front page - which led to Gallo's withdrawal of his written editorial. Voice publicity director Jessica Bellucci tells gossip site Pagesix.Com, "We all thought it was a terrific piece, and we're sorry we're not running it. When he got wind that we wanted to use another image for the cover, he got all bent out of shape and pulled the whole thing." Gallo fumes the "egocentric and out-of-control" Furst sabotaged the project. He says, "I don't regret writing the essay or taking the pictures. But for the Voice to call a gossip column and cry victim is outrageous. They owe me a long apology and flowers. The Voice fucked me, plain and simple."
Aug. 23, 2004, 3:25 a.m. CST
by payton 34
nobody would even be talking about this nose bleed.
Aug. 23, 2004, 3:49 a.m. CST
by Mr Brownstone
Aug. 23, 2004, 9:05 a.m. CST
Does she finish the job? Because if it's a 10 minute scene maybe she does.
Aug. 23, 2004, 10:23 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric
is a great fucking movie. Sad, funny, and just plain cool.
Aug. 23, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST
This is the first instance where I've seen Gallo come off as at least marginally likeable. The man is obviously intelligent and serious, but he's also a very strange person. I liked Buffalo 66 but Brown Bunny sounds like a load of pretentious twaddle so far. Based on this interview, however, I'll give Gallo the benefit of the doubt. Also for his hilarious performance in Arizona Dream. "My name means - literally - 'to act.' "
Aug. 23, 2004, 11:06 a.m. CST
This guy is unbelievable. He basically admits to being completely impossible to work with, then moans about the fact that nobody wants to work with him. Then he's off claiming he's the only one with the skills to restore old recordings... then he bitches when he can't pay licensing for the music. To top it all off, he writes, directs and stars in a movie where he gets sucked off, and gets angry when people feel the film might be an ego project. I haven't seen it, I'm reserving my judgement, but that movie better be damn good to justify the content. Because if the camera follows Gallo around for a while then he gets a hummer, that's just the definition of masturbatory filmmaking.
Aug. 23, 2004, 12:24 p.m. CST
Night's writing is deficient in a lot of respects, but his filmmaking, on a purely technical level, is leaps and bounds ahead of every other pretentious thirtysomething director in the industry today.
Aug. 23, 2004, 1:17 p.m. CST
by Skyway Moaters
"You can't say that to a film when it's clear that the intention is better than that and the risk is bigger than that and the language at least stands on its own in some original sense". Is it just me or does this guy come of as the whinyiest, most self indulgent, self aggrandizing, self worshipping, self apologetic wanker you ever had the misfortune of reading an interview with... or something like that?
Aug. 23, 2004, 2:18 p.m. CST
by Childe Roland
...with shit sticking to your fur?" Where was this all-important question in this completely stilted waste of double-fisted jerkoff masquerading as an artistic dialogue? I've said it before and I'll say it again: If, as an artist, you find yourself having to explain the merits of your work to everyone who sees it, you are in the wrong line of work. An artist, be it a musician, a painter, a filmmaker or a pole dancer, exists solely for the purpose of connecting with his or her audience. It's called catharsis and art without it is called crap. I know Ebert can be an asshat. He's kind of a bitter industry outsider who has tried to get some of his own work accepted and, for the most part, failed. But the guy knows movies. He watches them ALL THE TIME. And Gallo even admits Ebert's an intelligent guy who speaks from an informed lexicon about the way movies make him think and feel. I saw The Brown Bunny before reading Ebert's review and, when I read it, I had the catharsis that the film utterly failed to give me. Here was someone whose writing struck a chord with me about a subject we both had some experience with. In that sense, I would argue that The Brown Bunny alone is a piece of pretentious mastubatory shit from a self-important psuedo-intellectual crybaby but, taken in conjunction with Ebert's review, it is part of a wonderfully effective piece of art. I'd love to watch a film of Gallo sitting in on someone's Rorschach test and screaming at the person "No! That's wrong!" every time he or she explained what they were seeing in the ink blots. Art is a very personal experience for the afficianado... it is a communion of mind and soul with a complete stranger and presents that rarest of opportunities to the artist: To be seen/heard and understood without having to be there in person. But if you have to follow your exhibit around and defensively lash out at everyone who doesn't see it the way you intended (which, in Gallo's case, means lashing out at just about everybody), maybe you should stick to fingerpainting with your own feces and eating the evidence before the mere whiff of it makes someone else stupider for having come into contact with it. Oh... and M. Night is a very competent and even gifted director but his writing is pure amateur-hour, Twilight Zone wanna-be crap.
Aug. 23, 2004, 3:44 p.m. CST
...that was the best interview ever. people over-react at almost every available opportunity, mainly due to the mainstream media. but that was great. gallo is a living breathing feeling human like the rest of us and isn't afraid to express himself clearly, unlike most of hollywood who hide behind bullshit rhetoric. this guy is the most genuine film maker LIVING. DEAL WITH IT!
Aug. 23, 2004, 6:03 p.m. CST
I've never seen any of Vincent Gallo's movies. I don't know if i've even heard of him before "Brown Bunny". Even so, after reading this interview, I can't think of another filmmaker I respect more. Just based on all the things he is able to do and how much he really cares about his work. This man is not Avril Lavigne. He doesn't bullshit and anything he says about himself being deep is honest. Any acclaim that comes his way is well deserved.
Aug. 23, 2004, 8:10 p.m. CST
probably Gallo himself. Yeah, he seems like just the kind of self-absorbed bore who would bother to PLANT anonymous boring talkbacks to his own long and boring interview. If my theory is correct, then he has not even enough writing talent to make the multiple posts sound like different people. Pathetic. The interview is so boring. Why couldn't he just say the same damned things he wants to say but with fewer words? Sheesh.
Aug. 23, 2004, 8:20 p.m. CST
For them to take issue with The Village and NOT take issue with the fucking horrendously scripted Spiderman 2 just says something about even the supposedly "sophisticated" audiences today. I guess EVERYONE has the wool pulled over their eyes. It says that even how they decide what they DON'T like is a knee-jerk reaction. First of all... let me say for the record, I think Shyamalan is a totally conceited asshole, and that his ego and his insatiable need for his films to make as much as The Sixth Sense account for where he screws up as a filmmaker. That being said - Adrian Brody was horrible in The Village and so was Sigourney Weaver, but Phoenix and the blind chick were brilliant. Where Shyamalan's talent lies is in his ability to PHOTOGRAPH A FUCKING MOVIE AND LET US SHARE A MOMENT WITH THE ACTORS WITHOUT RESORTING TO FUCKING MTV STYLE CUTTING LIKE EVERY OTHER PIECE OF SHIT THAT COMES OUT!!! The big scene between Brody and Phoenix(i wont spoil it like most would) made me want to get up and do cartwheels cause he held the camera on the goddamn scene and let us feel like we were sharing a moment with the actors. Then, he shot the scene between William Hurt and the town elders where they discover he's letting the blind girl go to 'the towns' in all hand-held wide shots where you could, GASP!, actually see the arc of the scene and I KNOW that William Hurt stumbled in that scene when he got passionate and Night left it in there, which is fucking unheard of in Hollywood today. You want to know why Ebert gave spiderman 2 four stars? Do I even have to tell you? At LEAST The Village had some nicely shot and acted scenes... what other movie from the summer can you say that about? And oh, by the way, the only thing bad about that surprise or twist or whatever it was is that it was trumped up to seem as though it would be as mind-bending as The Sixth Sense(not that it was that mind-bending, but you know what I mean) and people's negativity was in response to what they EXPECTED the film to be, and it WILL NOT make a gazillion dollars like these two fuckwads(ebert and gallo) claim PRECISELY BECAUSE of the marketing that they so thoroughly despise. The same thing happened with Eyes Wide Shut... people thought they were gonna see a big-budget porno and instead they got a film about the dangers outside of married life. Michael Herr's book about Kubrick beautifully says EVERYTHING that is wrong with the industry these days, and not just with hollywood, but with the fucking hubris shoveling assholes and studio shills like Ebert(yeah, you heard me, FUCKING SHILL!) as well as the goddamned independent film scene where EXACTLY the same thing happens. Open Water wasn't picked up because it's any good, and neither was The Blair Witch Project... it was picked up because it has something in it that you can put in the ads and put the asses in the seats. If you hypnotize people hard enough with ads and press, they will actually BELIEVE they liked something that wasn't even really any good. Whether or not a film is good anymore has been rendered nearly irrelevant by the opening weekend mentality and the tens of millions of dollars thrown at P&A. I dont know... this depresses the shit out of me and I feel like the lone voice in the forest... DOESN'T ANYONE ELSE SEE WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!
Aug. 23, 2004, 8:34 p.m. CST
should stick to cleaning his storage room floor. If I wanted to see Chloe give a blowjob I'd flash a $5 bill in her face. Huffy OUT.
Aug. 23, 2004, 8:34 p.m. CST
should stick to cleaning his storage room floor. If I wanted to see Chloe give a blowjob I'd flash a $5 bill in her face. Huffy OUT.
Aug. 23, 2004, 8:47 p.m. CST
A vacation should be sitting in bed eating chips and dips, watching TV, and being massaged and blown by a robot - that's a vacation. That's travelling. -Vincent Gallo
Aug. 23, 2004, 9:06 p.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
I'm actually no fan of Gallo's and my "self-indulgence" yardstick is "Buffalo '66," a movie I absolutely DESPISE, but this was a great interview. I wasn't going to bother with "Brown Bunny," but it sounds compelling at the very least.
Aug. 23, 2004, 9:39 p.m. CST
by Mr Brownstone
you say that like it's a bad thing.
Aug. 23, 2004, 9:42 p.m. CST
by Mr Brownstone
Aug. 24, 2004, 12:09 a.m. CST
by Jon E Cin
I hope he never makes another movie again!
Aug. 24, 2004, 2:08 a.m. CST
by FD Resurrected
I had a pot-addicted, temperamental friend who bears a close resemblance to Mr. Gallo in facial features and personality, only shorter and with a bleached blonde hair. Strange times, indeed. I hated Buffalo '66 - a pretentious, narcissistic Taxi Driver rip-off. It deserves a hostile reception at Sundance, despite the critics' obligatory asslicking. Gallo pulling his essay out of The Village Voice because the editor refuse to run a self-portrait photo of him exemplify narcissism. Adulation is what Gallo strive for; otherwise he'd end up another Vincent Van Gogh in posthumous acclaim. Vincent Gallo wants you and everyone to know he's a famous independent filmmaker, musician, established actor and a registered Republican. If you don't know who the fuck is he, pity on you.
Aug. 24, 2004, 4:15 a.m. CST
by joe brady
No. No, no, no. Buffalo '66 was the best movie that came out that year. It was the most heartfelt, the most original, the most compelling. Vincent Gallo deserves more recognition than he's been given. Even as an actor. Just watch Abel Ferrara's "The Funeral". He's brilliant in that. Also, he's gone on record as being in the anti-Harmony Korine club, which you have to respect him for. I still want to murder everyone even marginally involved in "Gummo".
Aug. 24, 2004, 11:32 a.m. CST
The only thing I want to know about the movie is...is there a money shot. If so, does Gallo splooge on her face or in her mouth? Does she swallow or spit it out? Let's be honest, Gallo's lucky he's got a knob job in this film because that novelty factor is the only reason anyone would watch it at all.
Aug. 24, 2004, 2:28 p.m. CST
by Childe Roland
...I just popped in to respond to some more of the stuff that's been said in the talkback but then I realized that I'd interrupted the_ram's masturbation session. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion about a film. Smart film makers use that to their advantage. In fact, Shakespeare used to write his plays on multiple levels so that various audience members from different socio-economic classes could take what they wanted from it and all come away entertained. I think the fact that the vast majority of folks from today's disparate demographics have deemed the Brown Bunny a pile of poo and Gallo a whiny, elitist shit eater speaks volumes about his limited range as an artist. Like Shyamalan, he's got that one trick down to a science. Except Shyamalan's trick, the predictable twist ending, at least appeals to a broad demographic and pays his bills. Pissing people off and making them regret spending time with his creations, which Gallo has mastered, isn't a very good way to make money or friends.
Aug. 24, 2004, 2:35 p.m. CST
I've been posting on this site since the days when the Harry head in the corner only stuck it's tongue out periodically. Don't toss that accusation my way. I shill for no man. I was genuinely impressed by the amount of things the man is able to do and the amount of effort he's willing to expend doing it. I don't care if he's his own PR firm and wants all the glory he can muster. It's not like he's Wolfgang Peterson demanding soup at specific times during the day and espousing the importance of it. Gallo is genuine. He's not out to bullshit us. He only demands what he thinks he's due. Like I said before, he isn't Avril Lavigne.
Aug. 24, 2004, 8:34 p.m. CST
by FD Resurrected
Dumbass resorting to personal attack to defend the nasal-whistling, whiny-ass artist who thinks Vincent Gallo is the World's Greatest Indie Artist. No, I'm not watching a different film, jerkoff. It's an exercise in tedium and self-indulgence pretending to be brilliant and original. Mr. Gallo is a poseur who should stick to a career as a musician, that's where he's MOST talented in. A woman thanked me for restoring her faith in humanity after I posted a negative review on imdb. The man who sat next to her at arthouse screening left mid-way. Go buy a large Vincent Gallo poster and masturbate to ejaculate on his face - like he did jerking off to cum on Christina Ricci poster and bragged about it like he conquered Mt Everest.
Aug. 25, 2004, 5:15 a.m. CST
by JT Kirk
I don't know very much about Vincent Gallo or "The Brown Bunny", I have no real interest in seeing it or learning its secrets or trashing it, but I was a little curious over the all the hooplah on this guy, had some time, so I clicked the link. Fuck me with a pinecone! This has got to be the most over-the-top egotistical interview I've ever seen in my life, Gallo rambles on about himself so much that I suspect he wears out the mirrors in his house from all the conversations he has with the only being that could ever possibly fully contemplate his greatness. How many times does his lordship refer to his misunderstood self in this interview, a dozen, a hundred, a THOUSAND? Maybe it'd be easier to just count all the instances where he WASN'T busy stroking his self-importance. ------------------ PS, Shyamalan's wife is a stone cold fox, so I can totally understand why he'd be distracted from making a better film with THAT waiting for him back at the bunkhouse.
Aug. 25, 2004, 10:50 a.m. CST
by Childe Roland
...you would've been right about my not interrupting if you'd just resisted the urge to post again. It's little boys like you who go blind with hairy palms because they can't stop stroking their own egoes. And why would you misspell masturbating "masterbating" in your post and put quotes around it? Were you trying to convince folks I misspelled it? Didn't happen. Or perhaps you're trying to imply your mastery of the art of intellectual self gratification? No one's going to argue with you there... you clearly love to read your own thoughts more than anyone else in the universe... except maybe Gallo. You know, come to think of it, I've never seen you and Gallo in the same place at the same time. Could there be a Santa/Satan thing going on? I'll let the forum decide.
I have no problem with Gallo restoring old recordings, that's a noble thing. But he says "I'm the only person in the world who would salvage this particular recording because I had an original three-track machine and I knew how to bake that type of Ampex tape." Wow, I'm really impressed that you're such a technical wizard with audio tape, and that only you care enough to save that music. But restoring that tape doesn't make the music his, so he has to pay licensing. End of story. If someone made a movie using his music, I have a feeling you would see some hypocrisy then as Gallo moaned about the unfair thievery of his art.
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