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Wild Bunch - BUNNY AND THE BULL

Paul King

BUNNY AND THE BULL

PETIT TRIP ENTRE AMIS

BUNNY AND THE BULL

Screening room

Status: Completed

Director(s): Paul King

Main cast: Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby, Verónica Echegui

Short synopsis : An extraordinary comic odyssey from the industrial wastelands of Silesia to the bull fields of Andalusia. A funny, crazed and beautifully surreal road movie set entirely in a flat.

Long synopsis : Stephen Turnbull (Edward Hogg) is a creature of habit. Every day is filled in exactly the same way as the last: eating the same food, watching the sametelevision programmes, even urinating according to a timetable. Having obsessively filed away every possession from his past, he has managed to seal himself off completely from unwanted memories and emotions. But one day, to his horror, he finds that an infestation of mice has chomped through his stockpiles of freeze-dried vegetarian lasagnes. Stephen is pushed to the brink of his front door – but finds himself unable to leave. What is holding him back?Taking delivery of the unappetizing sounding “vegetarian option” from his local seafood restaurant, Stephen finds his mind drifting back to the last time he went there a year previously. The camera pushes into the restaurant-shaped food container, and once inside, we start to find out what has made Stephen the man he is.For it was there, in the same branch of the cheap ’n’ cheery fast-seafood restaurant Captain Crab that Stephen’s heart was broken by the woman he had secretly adored for three years: Melanie. Devastated, Stephen determines to take a year off sex, but his best friend Bunny (Simon Farnaby), a hirsute lothario with few values beyond gambling and girls, won’t hear of it. Convinced that loads of women would fancy Stephen – just not in Britain – Bunny suggests they take a trip, determined to do something about “those walloping great spacehoppers you’ve got clanging around in your pants.” There’s just the small matter of funding it.A punt on 50-1 Atlantic Rising – animated with ink and cardboard cut-outs – seems a typically feckless Bunny blunder, but the horse comes in first and suddenly the boys are out of the gates, on the Eurorail to adventure. Stephen packs for any contingency; Bunny brings lager. Stephen chooses their first ports of call: the Belgian National Cookbook Museum, the Museum of the X-Ray, the German Museum of Cutlery and the National Shoe Museum of Poland (your tour guide: Richard Ayoade). Bunny decides to liven things up a bit.Blindly heading off the beaten track, they find themselves at a Polish branch of Captain Crab where the food tastes awful and their Spanish waitress, Eloisa (Veronica Echegui), is in the process of volubly dissing her employer and quitting her job while they try to give her their order.But Bunny is not someone to take defeat lightly. Determined to have a good time, he grabs the only live crabs in the restaurant and stages a crabrace. Before you know it the place is heaving with gambling Poles and flowing with alcohol. This is why you go on holiday with Bunny.Summoning the courage to talk to their waitress, Stephen discovers that Eloisa wants to get to a fiesta in her Andalusian hometown, where the locals dance and “make poo and wee and love in the street.” Bunny, thinking this finally sounds like a good time – and hoping to get Stephen laid – provides the transport: raising the stakes with the restaurant owner, he wins a bet to eat 50 crustaceans in five minutes, and emerges triumphant with the keys to a Captain Crab delivery van.And so begins a trip across a lovingly studio-created miniature model Europe, punctuated by arguments over the ethics of lucky rabbits’ feet, inevitablehanky-panky between Bunny and Eloisa (while Stephen pines from the sidelines), and Bunny’s equally inevitable gambling. After a car crash downan Alpine pass, Bunny and Stephen find themselves guests of a strange shaggy bear-man (Julian Barratt) who lives under a motorway bridge andlusts after a stuffed bear Bunny has stolen from a hotel, but jealously guards his pack of dogs from Stephen’s supposed sexual designs. Bunny effectshis and Stephen’s getaway by winning a deathdefying bet to swim under a lake of ice.Inspired by his near-death experience, Bunny’s lust for risk begins to take on a darker edge. Meanwhile, Stephen and Eloisa share a heart-toheart, and a good number of Stephen’s special blue cocktails, on a big-wheel ride at the fairground. Eloisa tells Stephen that she has a wilful shadow called Conchita, a sort of guardian angel, who has led her into all sorts of trouble. Conchita thinks Bunny is ‘hot stuff’ but Eloisa is beginning to think Conchita has very bad taste in men, and for the first time Stephen thinks he might be in with a chance with the woman he now loves.Meanwhile, Bunny hears that Eloisa’s brother Javier (Noel Fielding) is a former matador, and hatches a new high-wire fantasy to prove his manhood ina pas de deux with a bull. But perhaps his luck is finally turning: he loses Javier’s priceless, vintage matador costume - along with his own underwear -to a fat gypsy in a midnight game of cards. Stephen finally joins Eloisa in her bed – but after a naked Bunny drags him away for help and freshundies, he is met back at Eloisa’s room by a sharp Spanish fist in the face, as Bunny has blamed him for the theft of the matador outfit.As Stephen and Bunny leave the town late that night, they see a bull in a field beside the road. The hour of reckoning is at hand…

Cast

  • Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby, Verónica Echegui, Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby, Verónica Echegui, Richard Ayoade

Crew

  • Producer(s): Mary Burke, Robin Gutch, Mark Herbert
  • Director(s): Paul King
  • Screenplay: Paul King
  • DP: John Sorapure
  • Editing: Mark Everson
  • Original Music: Ralfe Band
  • Set Design: Gary Williamson
  • Original Title: PETIT TRIP ENTRE AMIS
  • Genre(s): Comedy

  • Production company: WARP X
  • Production date: 2009
  • Language: English
  • Duration: 95 min
  • Image Ratio: 0.00
  • Sound Info: Dolby5.1
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2009 - Vanguard Program
  • Rome International Film Festival 2009 - Altro Cinema Extra
  • British Independent Film Awards 2009
    Award(s) : Best Achievement in Production
  • Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2009
  • Stockholm Film Festival 2009
  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2009
  • Istanbul Film Festival 2010
  • Copenhagen International Film Festival 2010
  • Singapore International Film Festival 2011

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