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Buffalo ‘66.1998.Vincent Gallo

November.5.2009

Layla and Billy taking photos.

Before the controversial film, The Brown Bunny, there was this quirky and full-of-weird people film, Buffalo 66.

If you do not know what The Brown Bunny is, then go here for Ebert’s review.

It is the story of Billy Brown, played by the director himself Vincent Gallo, who just got out of prison and then gives us an independently filmed approach of his story. If you’re not aware of the background of this film and you suddenly watched it then you might get bored at the few starting minutes of the film, as most of the independent films are.

Once Billy meets up with Layla (Christina Ricci), it starts to get interesting and then you’d probably tell yourself, ‘Hey! It seems that this film is kind of funny.’ With Billy and Layla’s first encounter having Billy shouting obscenities at Layla and then Billy asks for coins from her because he needs to call his house. How amusing is that?

The weirdness gets deeper. Billy kidnaps Layla and brings her home and tells his parents that Layla is his girlfriend. The thing is Layla doesn’t fight back, it seems that she likes the experience. And I thought that the only weird people in the film are Billy and Layla? I was wrong; there is his mother who doesn’t seem to keep her place in our reality and his father who keeps on asking Layla, a hug. Layla looks like a hooker by the way.

The eccentricity of the film lasts until the end with Layla doing an impromptu tap-dancing in the bowling alley, the unforgettable scene where Billy was in the bathtub taking a bath and Layla kept on pestering him that she wants to go in the bathtub too with Billy hating the idea, and the part where Billy is going to kill someone which was not really the plot of the story, it seems that it was.

When the film ended, I just tried to examine on what I had just watched and asked myself, ‘What the heck did I watch?’

Eventually, I found myself saying, ‘Sheesh, was that a love story?’

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