Jan 20, 2009

Buffalo '66


Vincent Gallo is an extremely sensitive man. He’s not sensitive like little bitch Clay Aiken, but sensitive like, say Adolf Hitler. Vincent Gallo’s film Buffalo ’66 is the directors most sensitive of portraits. Gallo’s character in the film Billy Brown, like Gallo himself, is an extremely neurotic narcissist who has traded in rationality for whatever his warped impulse demands. Despite being a kidnapper and overall prick, you grow to love Billy Brown as Buffalo ’66 progresses.

Billy Brown has just been released from prison and now wants revenge in the form of killing some “has been” football player who now owns a strip joint. Billy’s parents have no emotions for Billy and his only friend is a semi-retarded man who goes by the name of Goon. Billy Brown makes his best life decision when he decides to kidnap a voluptuous blonde ballerina named Layla. Layla seems to take an immediate liking to Billy but he is unaware as he is too neurotic and depressed to accept it. Buffalo ’66 is a semi-autobiographical film that tells the demons of an artist’s emotions instead of an exact portrayal of his life.


Billy Brown makes it clear that he doesn’t like faggots looking at his dick while he pisses. After telling an overweight male ballerina to stop checking out his privates (they are both using urinals), the marshmallow boy states, “but it’s so big.” Billy Brown violently throws the tubby ballerina out of the bathroom thereafter. The real-life Vincent Gallo has some shame in his earlier years as gay bar go-go dancer and has been arrested various times in his younger years for indecent exposure. The awkward bathroom scene seems to mark a low point in Gallo’s real life.


Billy Brown kidnaps the girl Layla so he can show her off to his parents as his girl. Billy’s parents are the most emotionally cold and unloving parents a boy could ever have. In many interviews, Vincent Gallo has made it very clear his contempt for his parents. Despite being kidnapped and just meeting Billy, Layla shows the most concern for Billy. Billy’s father is an old wop pervert who brags about singing at the same joint as Frank Sinatra in his younger years. This old dirty dego makes sure to grab all over Layla every chance he gets. He’s the type of fellow that is unintentionally hilarious but not funny to poor Billy Brown. It is obvious in Buffalo ’66 that Billy has lost (or never had) his father’s approval a very long time ago.


Billy’s Mother loves the stupidest game around, American football. She tells Billy that she wishes he was never born because he caused her to miss an important game. Billy’s mother also has no clue about any of Billy’s interests and life in general. One has to give respect to Vincent Gallo for his unflattering and embarrassing portrait of his cold family. No wonder Vincent Gallo gave discounts on his own sperm on his merchandise website to women "who can prove she has naturally blonde hair and blue eyes" and "anyone who can prove a direct family link to any of the German soldiers of the mid-century." Vincent Gallo has made it clear that he is one self-loathing Sicilian.


Buffalo ’66 features various experimental montages and surreal scenes. I especially liked the vintage and dreamlike solo singing performance from father Brown. One also has to take note of Layla’s tap dancing solo at a grungy bowling alley. Vincent Gallo did an excellent job inserting surreal scenes that are seamless and relevant to the overall feeling of the film. Billy Brown is a lonely and depressed man, but he still has an urge to love.


In Buffalo ’66, Vincent Gallo reveals more of his complex personality than your typical American filmmakers. Despite being American born, Gallo’s heart seems to be in Europe. Vincent Gallo has revered such filmmakers as Pier Paolo Pasolini and Robert Bresson. He has also showed his love for the Italian futurists. I believe that Vincent Gallo is capable of being a legendary auteur filmmaker but his narcissism may not allow it as The Brown Bunny proved. Whatever the future holds for Gallo, Buffalo ’66 is still an American art house masterpiece.


-Ty E

2 comments:

fivefifthsdead said...

great movie. i love the "spanning time" part.

peregrine fforbes-hamilton said...

the only worthwhile thing that vincent gallo has ever done is putting his hand up hannah taylor-gordons dress in house of the spirits.