Buffalo '66 is a film that stays with a person long after their first viewing. It's a film about a lonely man who kidnaps a young woman in order to impress his parent's whose only interest seems to be the Buffalo Bills. It's a film told by a man who seems to feel the same way his protagonist feels; frustrated with the way his life has turned out. Buffalo '66 is a film that is criminally underrated.
The confidence with which this film is made bursts off the screen. Constantly imaginative and unpredictable, director Gallo conjures up some memorably striking scenes in this story of a man's redemption through a chance encounter. As with "The Brown Bunny" the journey-like quality of the film's structure is quietly impressive and assured.
Heavenly awkward and deliciously dysfunctional - I've seen it so many times! Layla tap-dancing to King Crimson's "Moonchild" is a highlight; as is, finally, Billy Brown's obsession to get his love (the one he kept cursing and shoving around until then) a hot chocolate. True psychocandy.
Loved the self-conscious lack of continuity and the awkward camera shifts, but for a film so aesthetically profound, there should have been more meaning to take away. Definitely of its era (before girls speaking up for themselves got cool again). What is it about the 90s and deviant, narcissistic males with murderous fantasies who end up making good with the silent female icon at the last minute?
Underneath all that braggadocio, preening, control obsession and bullshit is just a vulnerable, awkward, repressed, messed up guy who wants to be loved. It's a far from unusual combination as Layla instantly recognises. It is also perfectly plausible for that juxtaposition to be resolved through flailing violence or swooning romance and a hot chocolate. The tap dancing in the bowling alley is right up there too.
On the basis that this film could possibly be a satirical black comedy of a 70s sexploitation thriller, with Ricci playing a woman with deep stockholm syndrome after a traumatic and sudden kidnapping and Gallo playing a misogynistic psychopath with delusions of grandeur, then it's brilliant. Otherwise - it's misogynistic self gratifying bullshit with, undeniably, one of the most beautiful colour palettes in film.