There is this strange movie I saw a couple of years ago. Frankly, I had forgotten all about it until it came up recently. It’s called Buffalo ’66 (1998) by Vincent Gallo, also writer and lead character in the film. Now I don’t exactly remember everything about it, but certain scenes have stayed in my mind. I actually should see it again.
First things first:
As I mentioned before, it’s been a while. And instead of copy/pasting an already existing summary, I’m just going to write what I remember.
Billy recently got out of prison, doing time for somebody else. This means he is pissed off and wants payback. Of course.
He wants to visit his parents, who are – lets say it nicely – a bit simple. His childhood with them had not been particulary great. They, thinking he’d amount to nothing anyway. Still, he wants to prove them wrong. He forces, well kidnaps actually, Layla (Christina Ricci) to pose as his wife. But the confrontation with his parents is not a happy one. Eventhough Layla does everything to show off how happy and in love they are.
After the terrible rekindling at home, Billy and Layla go to the bowling place he used to frequent before his prison time. He used to be some kind of local hero back then. It’s here that Layla tries to find out what he is all about. She actually becomes somewhat infatuated by him, while he pushes her away. He only uses her and can do without the unexpected interest in his life.
He decides to take action and kill the man who was the cause of his days in prison.
What made me think back to this movie was the hotel scene near the end. I don’t remember specifics, just that it was very memorable. The characters in close quarters, which created tension, but attraction as well. Layla, clearly attracted to him, trying to make him like her and make him feel good and positive about himself. But Billy seems quivering, unpredictable, unsure. I don’t know why, but that part has stuck with me.
The thing is, I saw this movie by chance while flicking through tv channels on a Sunday, I believe it was. I had just missed the beginning and found myself in a very intense scene. Cause Gallo is intense throughout this movie. I got intreaged. But I believe it is a movie definitely worth seeing again. That there is more to it. The way it was shot for one thing. Raw, but dreamlike as in the ending.
I did find out that Vincent Gallo is considered controversial. To tell you the truth, it’s the only thing I know of him: this movie. He does seem like a very versatile person: writing, musician, actor, director… I don’t know if this will influence you not to see this movie, the controversy around his person. But then you would be missing out. It is worth to watch. At least to talk about it afterwards.
I did recognize actor Kevin Corrigan – uncle Eddy from the sitcom Grounded for life . I say recognize, because he is in such bad shape and plays an utmost loser, that it took me a while to know where I knew him from.