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IDLE CHATTER: Vincent Gallo, Larger Than Life

IDLE CHATTER: Vincent Gallo, Larger Than Life

The erecting of a huge billboard this week on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles heralds Wellspring’s upcoming release of “The Brown Bunny,” Vincent Gallo’s infamous new film. An image from the film’s climax featuring Gallo and the back of Chloe Sevigny’s head adorns the 60 x 20 ft advertisement which has reportedly stopped westbound traffic near the Chateau Marmont, adjacent to the sign. The Gallo billboard will be up for the entire month of August; the film opens in NYC and LA, unrated on the 27th.

Wellspring describes the film as, “Both a love story and a haunting visual poem to a lost America,” adding, “Vincent Gallo’s film features perhaps the frankest portrayal of male sexuality ever shown in American cinema.” Meanwhile more than a year ago, Roger Ebert called it the worst movie ever to screen in competition in Cannes and a gossip page battle erupted between Gallo and Ebert in which the filmmaker called the critic a “fat pig” and cursed Ebert’s then cancerous colon. Ebert said his colonoscopy was more entertaining than Gallo’s film and added, “It is true that I am fat, but one day I will be thin, and he will still be the director of ‘The Brown Bunny’.”

Well yesterday, Ebert and Gallo met to settle the issue once and for all. Word is that the two have buried the hatchet. They reportedly kissed and made up, with a local ABC-TV network camera capturing the warm reunion at the Lake Street Screening Room in downtown Chicago. Can’t wait to see that footage!

As for the movie, in a phone conversation during Cannes this year Gallo told me that the new, final version of the movie is a lean 92-minute cut that he is proud of, “I spent so much time on the film, l feel like the film is the best thing that I have ever done — I had 100 percent creative control of the film, and the finished film is exactly the one that I wanted to make — people may not like it, but I like it.”

UPDATE: In Wednesday’s papers, billboard coverage: NY TIMES | LA TIMES

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