Review and rating for Buffalo ’66: a comedy-drama film that and writer-director Vincent Gallo’s full-length motion picture debut, read the reviews and ratings.
- Rated 4 stars
- Buffalo '66 on Blu-ray Review
- Reviewed by: Awais Iqbal
- Published on: April 19, 2014
- Last modified: August 21, 2015
- QualityEditor: 90%
- PriceEditor: 95%
- OverallEditor: 90%
Vincent Gallo is not the world’s best known American filmmaker. Yet by those who know him, he is either revered - or hated. There have been allegations in the past that he is difficult to work with; tempestuous, arrogant, conceited, and volatile. But so many film directors are. Just look at Peckinpah and his infamous fights on set. American filmmakers, in particular, have a reputation for being confrontational and explosive. Maybe it’s how they get things done over there.
Buffalo ’66 is now a firmly established cult favourite among movie aficionados. Since I watched it for the first time in 2010, it has slowly become one of my favourite films. I finally own it on blu-ray, after purchasing the 15th anniversary edition, and it makes a change for me to now be able to watch it whenever I want. Previously, television rarely screened this late 90’s classic about an isolated, somewhat deranged outcast who kidnaps a teenage girl before forcing her to pretend to his parents that she is his lover.
The deranged outcast is played with perfect snarl by Gallo himself (some say the character is partly autobiographical). He is volatile throughout, with Ricci, as the teenage girl, complimenting his intimidating, wolfish nature with her own level of calm and poise. Reportedly, Ricci did not get along with Gallo on set, with quotes suggesting that Gallo told her what to do and she did it. As harsh as that sounds, this is Gallo, and this is the reputation he has honed. He is a driven, determined filmmaker with things to say - which is more than you can say about a lot of American directors.
Buffalo ’66 does not look like a polished film. Therefore, watching it via Blu Ray makes little impact. The original picture quality was grainy and atmospheric. That comes across here. Buffalo ’66, in the end, is a warming tale of isolation and love. Yet for the most part, it is confrontational, and almost scary. You never quite know what Gallo is going to do with the girl he has kidnapped. Will he let her go? Will he kill her? The wonderful thing is that you just don’t know, because Gallo’s character himself just doesn’t know. He goes with the flow, he is reckless in his decision making.
Buffalo ’66 is clearly all about Gallo and his thoughts and feelings with the world. It is his centre stage, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why he and his filmmaking style have come under fire. He isn’t, and never will be the darling of American cinema. Like his character, he is another of American indie’s outcasts. An easy rider. I’m always sceptical with the need for ‘anniversary editions’ of films. To me, they’re just marketing ploys. Especially fifteenth anniversary editions. But this film is good, and I must admit I was cajoled into buying it because of the anniversary.