My name is Matt Burns, a writer/filmmaker from the Boston area.
Just thought I would drop you a line and say how much I like your work, especially THE BROWN BUNNY. I heard that you had an initial cut that was three hours long or something like that. Is there any way one can see that version? I imagine that it may go deeper into the character and maybe even answer some lingering questions about him.
But, yes, awesome film. To me, Bud is a portrait of the typical (Los) Angeleno: a man constantly on the move, unsuccessfully trying to outrun a past that relentlessly haunts him. Or, to speak in more general terms, I guess he is a portrait of the typical American -- a person migrating westward, running away from something...but always unsuccessfully.
The past always catches up, no matter how much we try NOT to face it. And perhaps this is one of the key issues comprising the American tragedy: instead of dealing with our problems, we try to run away from them, either by physically escaping west like Bud, or by mentally escaping to things like spectator sports and Hollywood entertainment and politics and religion etc. If Bud is any indication, the more we try to escape like this, the more we just end up torturing ourselves.
Another thing I like about the film is how there is some question as to whether Bud's perception of reality is totally reliable, as there are too may elements in the film that don't seem to add up. Like when Bud visits Daisy's mom...she's never heard of him, and doesn't even remember him living next door to her. Then there's the brown bunny, which was supposedly Daisy's, but should have probably been dead long ago (we learn from the pet store owner that bunnies only live five or six years).
Maybe the relationship between Bud and Daisy was less serious than we are lead to believe. Maybe she was just a girl he had a crush on (either recently or during his childhood). Or maybe she was just a girl he met at a party, took a liking to, but then got insulted when he found another guy having sex with her. And this makes him feel rejected and insecure. It is a blow to his ego. And such a rejection is impossible for him to shake. It follows him wherever he goes. No matter how fast he goes in that bike of his, he just can't escape these feelings that haunt him.
I guess the fact of the matter is that we can't quite trust Bud as a reliable "narrator", simply because there are too many things that don't seem to make sense in the film. He seems to be delusional and maybe even hallucinatory. He's probably lying to himself and, in turn, lying to us. Maybe he's trying to convince himself that Daisy's death wasn't his fault. Or maybe Daisy is still very much alive somewhere, but he just wants to pretend she's dead because it hurts him too much to think that she's alive and rejected him. Maybe the entire back-story of the film is just a bunch of bullshit born out of a neurotically insecure soul. Who knows???
Anyway, just thinking out loud. Really like the film. And if there's any way I can see the longer version, PLEASE let me know.
The next day after sending this email I had a response in my inbox. The following is Gallo's (one-word) response:
Yes, he's an asshole, but you gotta love the guy.