A chastened Vincent Gallo apologised yesterday to financiers and audiences for his film The Brown Bunny, which had a disastrous reception at Cannes.

"I accept what the critics say," said the movie's outspoken writer-producer-director-editor-cameraman. "If no-one wants to see it, they're right - it's a disaster of a film and it was a waste of time. I apologise to the financiers of the film but I assure you it was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film."

He said that the Palais screening for The Brown Bunny was "the worst feeling I ever had in my life." He added that he would probably never watch the movie again.

"I thought that I was compelled by something beautiful that I could share with other people. I'm disappointed that people aren't responding to it in that way. I can only apologise to the people who feel they've wasted their time."

In the end, Gallo says he realises that "what I think is beautiful doesn't match up with what the general population thinks. I don't know how to give people what they want. I worked hard on the film, I liked it very much. I'm disappointed that again, what I like is unpopular. That doesn't make me happy, let me assure you," he said. Saying that he wanted to find a general audience for his work and be popular, Gallo added that the fact French critics liked it "is almost like salt in the wound."

His worst words were for the journalists at the Palais press conference who reported his recollections of firing Winona Ryder. "They fucked me," he said.