Buffalo 66

Buffalo 66

You adore me, you love me, you cherish me; Jesus Christ, you can’t live without me.

I don’t know what it is about Vincent Gallo that makes me dislike the man as much as I do; it’s inexplicable. I really don’t have a reason why; he just rubs me the wrong way. This mindset is helped little by the character he plays in his debut feature, Buffalo ’66, one of the most morally and ethically repugnant screen characters I’ve encountered in a while. This man treats everyone like shit, including himself at times, and there just doesn’t seem to be a single redeeming factor to him. This makes for a very unpleasant viewing experience, not liking the main character at all, but since I can only assume this was Gallo’s intention, I can’t fault the film itself for it. At least not at first…

From the opening credits, this comes across as a very American version of a French New Wave film; I realize it’s an independent feature, but the little touches like skipping a few frames of film every now and then make it definitely come across as a wannabe French independent film. As for the tone, there’s a lot of unpleasantness throughout, and not in any good way. It was halfway during the initial scene with the parents that I finally reached my threshold and turned the film off. It was nothing but a self-indulgent vehicle for Gallo to do whatever he wanted, as long as it was what HE wanted, and it all went HIS way. Maybe the detestable quality of the main character had seeped over that line between fiction and reality, but I could just feel Gallo’s will imposing itself on every single shot and scene, and it became too much to bear.

I did eventually finish the film, but it took a good deal of mental preparation to sit through the rest of it. I think what I disliked the most was how Gallo used the film as either a wish fulfillment or an autobiographical dumping pot; the main character is embittered towards his parents, but Christina Ricci’s character is inexplicably attracted to him for no reason, he has plenty of friends who love him and would do anything for him, and everything that is wrong or goes wrong in his life is never his fault, and I mean all of that literally. This film serves no purpose other than to provide Vincent Gallo with a centerpiece to mold all his desires and fantasies into, and I couldn’t have cared less for it if I tried, and I was trying the opposite. You might have a differing opinion than mine, but at the very least, understand why I ended up in the position I did.

Arbitrary Rating: 5/10

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