Buffalo '66  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Buffalo ’66 is a 1998 film, and is writer/director Vincent Gallo's semi-autobiographical full-length motion picture debut. The retro look, do it yourself sensibility and the comic mixture of irony and sentimentality, as well as the casting and music, have caused the film to be strongly identifiable with late-1990s hipster culture. Gallo and Christina Ricci star in the lead roles and the supporting cast includes Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette, Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston. Gallo also composed and performed much of the music for the film.

This film is as much comedy as it is drama; Billy's scornful attitude and his contemptuous memories are often offset by amusing dialogue and ironic black humor. Buffalo '66 is an indie film with a dirty, minimalist look; it has a faded and discoloured visual style thanks to the use of rare 35mm reversal film and (for the flashback scenes) 16mm stock. One particular scene features the use of a tableu set to the song "Heart Of The Sunrise" by the band Yes, where the action stops abruptly and the camera view rotates around the frozen scene, similar to the bullet time scenes in The Matrix a year later.


Having just served 5 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Billy Brown (Gallo)'s first desperate post-incarceration action is to search for somewhere to relieve himself. Then, to impress his dunceish, thoroughly neglectful parents, Gallo kidnaps a dance class student called Layla (Ricci) and forces her to pretend to be his wife. Layla allows herself to be kidnapped and it is very clear she is romantically attracted to Billy from the start, but Billy all the while is compelled to deal with his own demons, his loneliness and his depression, and it is only at the very end that he allows Layla to give him the love and comfort he has been needing all his life.

The subplot of Billy seeking revenge on the man indirectly responsible for his imprisonment, Scott Wood, is a near-certain reference to a former Buffalo Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, who missed the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants in 1991.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Buffalo '66" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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