Buffalo `66 is as fine an example of independent film-making as you're likely to find. Vincent Gallo's quirky, semi-autobiographical film, in which he stars as Billy Brown - a slightly unhinged, emotionally undernourished convict who kidnaps the surprisingly willing Layla (Christina Ricci) to pose as his wife - is easily the controversial New Yorker's best work to date and features stellar performances from the likes of Angelica Huston (almost unrecognisable as Brown's uncaring, football-obsessed mother Janet) and Jan-Michael Vincent - Brown's long-suffering best friend, Goon. Gallo is equally impressive in the role of Billy Brown; he's unpleasant, and prone to violence, but not entirely dislikeable. In fact, at times, he's almost child-like, and we sympathise with Brown, largely because of what we come to know of his background. The scene in which Billy visits his parents' house, for example, is one of classic suburban dysfunction - and hilarious at that.
There's a sense at times that Gallo is playing himself, rather than actually 'acting'; at others, he appears to be hamming it up a bit for comic effect (see the scene in which he forces Layla to pose with him in a photo booth and repeats the phrase "we're spanning time" ad nauseum) but he can be forgiven on both counts as a) the film is, as mentioned, a semi-autographical work and b) he is undeniably amusing.
Where this film impresses most, however, is in the sheer inventiveness and effectiveness of some of Gallo's techniques as director and Lance Acord's cinematography. Buffalo `66 has all the hallmarks of an indie, art-house film - but, refreshingly, these features actually contribute to our understanding of Brown's character and the advancement of the film's plot.