Buffalo '66

Buffalo '66 ★★★★½

Buffalo '66 is an incredible movie. But, I always have reservations when saying that given the films production history and Vincent Gallo's reputation. I've worked on some film sets in which the director had absolutely zero respect for his crew or cast, and that's like hell on earth for everyone. Based on what I've read, that's exactly how Gallo treated his team on Buffalo '66, even going as far as to blame some of them publicly for any negativity directed towards the film. 

With that said, I can't take away the fact that Buffalo '66 is a great film. It's style echoes aspects of the French New Wave, Ozu's deliberate 180 breaks, and plenty of other influence. But Gallo uses that influence to craft a film that feels incredibly unique, especially for an American independent picture. I can't quite fully connect emotionally with the characters in the film, but that doesn't mean I can't love watching their stories play out and laugh at the insanity of the entire scenario presented in Buffalo '66

Vincent Gallo's Billy Brown is one of the most batshit crazy characters I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, so crazy, he's absolutely hilarious. But as the film goes on, we start to understand Billy and even sympathize with his plight despite his choices. Him and Christina Ricci make such an electric team here, it's shocking to know how much they hated each other off camera. 

And whether Gallo's complaints about him are valid or not, he can't take away the fact that Lance Acord does some of his best work with the visuals in Buffalo '66. Most of the shots are quite simple, but it was the choice to shoot the film on reversal 35mm stock that gives Buffalo '66 that unique look. I'm almost positive this was the last film in history to be shot in that format, and that's really a shame because the colors captured here are absolutely breathtaking to witness.

Vincent Gallo may be a scumbag in real life, but I can't say for sure because I don't know him. What I do know is he made a great film, and I applaud him for that. Buffalo '66 is a wonderfully quirky romance/character study that has such raw sensibilities that any film even remotely similar can't come close too it. Buffalo '66 is definitely a gem of American independent cinema and is certainly worth seeking out.

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