Buffalo '66

Buffalo '66 ★★★★

Prior to having watched Buffalo '66, the only other Vincent Gallo film I had seen was The Brown Bunny, which I resented rather deeply. What I've read about Vincent Gallo was not exactly the most positive feedback in regards to his personal life but I've always been fascinated by Buffalo '66 despite never having very much intent to go out of my way and watch it. Attempting to describe what I caught out of it would already be difficult enough because I'm able to see why some would adore it in spite of me not being able to connect with it in that manner.

There's a lot to admire about the honesty that Vincent Gallo is aiming for with the romance that he's willing to depict in this film, because it's rare to find that quality in many popular romance films nowadays. Gallo's utilization of it in order to move forward this story (or, whatever you wish to call it) reflects upon some sort of Americana background that isn't rather easy to describe with words. It's most certainly not something that can be found in most other films which is what makes Buffalo '66 as fascinating a film as it stands.

It certainly feels as if there's a very unique blending of directorial styles present in here ranging from John Cassavetes and Yasujiro Ozu to some extent, and just seeing these styles work together to create some sort of one-of-a-kind vision is fascinating. Vincent Gallo's intent to break away from convention is where Buffalo '66 truly works at its very best, nothing really much more or less to say after that. Gallo's talent behind the camera certainly gets its own job done, to break away from convention.

Perhaps I may have missed something but in spite of all the admirable aspects to Buffalo '66, I couldn't fully embrace it because I felt so distanced from the characters. Maybe this emotional detachment could have been what Vincent Gallo was striving for, with insisting that in a big world surrounded by others we still feel rather lonesome when we think about it more, and for that, I'll give it some credit where it's due. I like films that can create some sort of detachment in order to capture a specific mood (Michelangelo Antonioni being the very best at this) but the bizarre nature of the whole film prevented me from making the sort of connection I would have wished to find from others who adore what is created here in Buffalo '66.

The cast can range from being rather intriguing to just being rather flat, Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci in particular stand out for being the best of the bunch. Gallo's image of a detached man inside of such a big world feels so alienated but that's part of why this performance works. Christina Ricci displays a one-of-a-kind talent in this and the chemistry she forms with Vincent Gallo is fantastic to watch as it develops. Anjelica Huston and Ben Gazzara, playing Billy's parents, are where I feel rather mixed because they never seemed to play convincing characters, where Gallo's weakness certainly comes in, he may have a unique idea and vision behind the camera but he's not exactly one to direct his actors.

I might need to give this another viewing in the future but as of now it's certainly something I can recommend for the admirable sort of talent we have here. While we have so much that creates what I'm imagining is some sort of an isolated Americana portrait, I found myself way too detached from the final product in order to fully embrace it. Don't get me wrong, Buffalo '66 is certainly not a bad film, but probably not one for all my sensibilities. It's a great effort, but at the same time just rather conflicting.

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