Vincent Gallo and ‘Buffalo 66’
I like anyone who has a strong, personal vision. This is probably why I like Vincent Gallo so much. That and his brilliant brain, perfect looks and razor-sharp wit. I once wrote an article (for my own little fanzine) entitled ‘Boys Hate Vincent Gallo Because They Are Jealous Of Him’. It’s so true. You know in ‘Friends’, when they compiled lists of the five celebrities they wanted to sleep with? Well, Vincent Gallo is always at the top of my own personal list.
Letching aside, his film ‘Buffalo 66’ is one of the most perfect pieces of work in existence, in my humble opinion. It is visually beautiful, with a great story, not a word or a shot out of place. What I love most about it, is how much it is one man’s singular vision – Gallo wrote, directed, scored and starred. It’s his masterpiece and it is a marvel by any standards.
Gallo plays the excellently named Billy Brown, who has just got out of prison and needs a girl to take home to his parents’ house for lunch – judging by his letters, they think that he has been out of the country due to his high-powered job, complete with perfect wife in tow. Enter Christina Ricci as Layla, an almost obscenely beautiful waif in a tap dancing costume.
Hilarity ensues, along with heartbreaking pathos.
OK, I’ll admit it’s not for everyone. When I made my mum and Louise watch it – it was my birthday, my pick – they both whinged and fidgeted and asked me when something was going to happen. The thing was, whilst disagreeing entirely, I could totally see their point.
If it is your thing, it is an incomparable work of genius.
As, in my opinion, is everything that Vincent Gallo does. Even when he starts to stray into self-indulgent and impenetrable territory (which, occasionally, he does), I love how much he means it. I adore ‘The Brown Bunny’. I cannot wait for ‘Promises Written on the Water’.
As for his acting (in things he has not written/directed – which according to him are two entirely different beasts: ‘either give me full control or pay me up the wazoo’, as the man explains himself, sensibly), his performance as the title character in Coppola’s ‘Tetro’ is possibly the sexiest thing I have ever witnessed in my life, just as his turn in Claire Denis’s ‘Trouble Every Day’ is disturbingly brilliant, and he is simply appealing in bucketloads in ‘Palookaville’. Even in the things he’s clearly just done for the money – the ridiculous horror of ‘Moscow Zero’ or romantic comedy with Courtney Cox in ‘Get Well Soon’ – he radiates an impossible charisma that elevates it above the sum of its parts.
I love his artwork, his music (from rapping back in the day as ‘Prince Vince’ to the gorgeously painstaking ‘When’, etc.) – basically, to paraphrase Leonard Cohen, ‘his body and his spirit and his clothes’.
Thanks, Mr Gallo.