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whereas buffalo ‘66 is about coming to terms with your traumas and working to move past them and improve yourself, the brown bunny is about the inability to do so. becoming so lost in your own memories and past experiences that it renders you unable to form proper relationships with others, with bud essentially lost in a loop, briefly interacting romantically with women only to move on in a matter of minutes, setting off on the road again. no other woman will be able to replace daisy as the love of his life, no matter how many times he tries to replicate that same feeling. but bud doesn’t want to move on, he retreats into his memories of daisy and only seeks out women that he feels have something in common with her. notice how gallo frames the scene between himself and tiegs in a similar way to a later scene between himself and sevigny, just before the film’s infamous sex scene, and then there’s the far more obvious aspect of the floral names that all of the women have (something that many other reviewers have mentioned).
ultimately, once bud has “found” daisy, he’s barely even affectionate with her, remaining cold and distant, as he’d been with the other women before. he chastises her, before breaking down in tears as daisy explains her fate to him again, a memory that he has suppressed, or at least attempted to, because it clearly shattered his world. he’s been reminded of a harsh reality, and now must move on and accept what has happened. immediately after this we see him on the road once again, presumably either to his next race or returning home. after a prolonged closeup on bud as he’s driving, gallo chooses to end on a freeze frame. the film stops, but we hear the sounds of the road for several more seconds. we’ll never know whether bud is able to break free from this cycle and move on as billy did in buffalo ‘66, but his journey is far from over. the road to recovery and the end of his mourning may be just on the horizon, or it may be miles away.