SXSW FILM FESTIVAL
SXSW: We Saw the First Footage Ever for Bruno!
by Kevin Powers
March 16, 2009
Those of us attending SXSW in Austin were treated to 22 minutes of raw footage of the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie Bruno, the funny man's follow up to Borat, where he plays a gay Austrian fashion reporter for youth TV. The footage spanned three scenes, each of which included a personal SXSW greeting from Cohen. To the say the material was funny is a laughable insult itself. This brief look at Bruno quite possibly promises a more raucous laugh than Borat, which is no small feat. But how, you might ask? Take the first scene, which has Bruno interviewing parents in an attempt to find the right baby for a video production.
Bruno asks, "Is your child comfortable with dead or dying animals? Is he fine with lit phosphorous? Can your baby loose ten pounds this next week?" Of course, the laughs come into play when the parents oddly and honestly reply, "yes" to most questions. If they're names ever get revealed, I'm sure CPS will pay them a visit. The second scene has Bruno appearing on a local Jerry Springer-like talk show wherein he discusses the difficulty of being a single dad - a gay, single dad that has adopted a black baby who dons a shirt (a baby belly-shirt, no less) that says "gayby" in gold lettering. The reactions of the mostly African American audience is just insane, especially when Bruno shows off family portraits of the two.
The third and final sequence we were privy to is one that was actually reported on slightly last year. Bruno assumes the personality of "Straight Dave" and hosts Straight Dave's Man Slammin' Max Out, inviting rednecks (and I may be using that term too politely) to a testosterone-filled event that promises pure heterosexual wrestling. Bruno doesn't hide his accent (or lisp) very well, which incites a choice slur from an audience member. Said member confronts Bruno (aka Straight Dave) in the ring, which leads to one of the most shocking if not slightly touching scenes ever put to "Can you Feel the Love Tonight".
These sequences may seem disjointed, but Cohen's foreword helped connect the dots. Indeed, there is a clear and wonderfully twisted tale underpinning the shenanigans, which at one point is described as Bruno's quest "to be the most famous Austrian since Hitler." We have to thank the studio and SXSW for bringing us this little treat, which apparently was no easy task and a surprise to many. From what I saw, Bruno may just redefine outrageous and will probably outdo Borat. And I never expected to say that! Universal will be bringing Bruno to theaters on July 10th this summer, so stay tuned for the first trailer and much more.