PRINT Summer 1998


It’s rare to see a film so totally the product of a single personality as Buffalo ’66. Yet Vincent Gallo’s first feature—he cowrote it, stars in it, directed it, and even composed three terrible, terrible songs for the score, which he also sings—is more than that. It’s not merely a product of his personality but a picture of it. The film’s narrative is overtly cinematic, but at heart it feels like a diary, compelling in a voyeuristic manner, even, if one can still use the term, real. Rather than actually tell a story, the narrative is jerry-rigged out of a series of minute, finely crafted, but ultimately derivative tableaux—there’s a little of Godard’s structuralism in the dinner scene, a bit of Scorcese-esque verbiage in the kidnapping, and some Van Sant shenanigans in the dance numbers. It all amounts less to a movie than to the idea of a movie—specifically, to the idea of an “art movie.”

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