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terça-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2008

Buffalo '66

Pela mesma razão que há uns tempos atrás aqui postei um artigo em ingles, hoje vou fazer o mesmo. Desta vez uma critique ao filme Buffalo '66. E sim, agora posso usar palavras francesas nos meus posts, porque sou oficialmente um critico de cinema a trabalhar pra uma conceituadissima magazine culturel, e portanto as minhas opinioes acabaram de ganhar um upgrade de +20 (invencible a todos os status).

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It's always good, being in China, to discover the unknown, the new. In this case, and since we're in the subject, new movies. But its also very interesting, being in China, to discover the unknown from "back home". And from "back home" I mean from the west (and for all fellow Japanese and Korean expats, its an all new discovery entirely), in this particular case, from the States. So, lets make a walk down memory lane, to exactly 10 years ago (1998) and discover a movie that went way bellow the radar when it came out, and is, in my own opinion, one of the best movies from the 90's, Buffalo '66.

Buffalo '66 is an independent cult movie from the equally cult director, bohemian and all-around controversial man of many talents, Vincent Gallo.

The movie tells the story of Billy Brown (Vincent Gallo), a Buffalo native, who just got out of jail after 5 years making the time for someone else (I won't go into too much plot details to prevent major spoilers, as I strongly believe that a movie is better experienced with minimal knowledge of the plot) and now has only two plans on his agenda: visit is parents and take revenge from the person who ruined his life. The thing is, he lied to his parents, telling them that he was away working for the last five years with his beautiful wife. So in order to convince his parents of this story, he kidnaps a tap dancing girl named Leyla (Christina Ricci). From there, a most amazing, weird and fascinating tale evolves. This isn't by any means a "normal" revenge film...far from it. This is a twisted, slow-paced emotional engaging story of a man who strives against a multitude of feelings corroding its inside and his mind that can either finish in the most tragic and fatal of endings, or could lead him to a new light and renewed hope for a better life.

That was the synopsis, as spoiler-free as I could do it. Now let me tell you what makes Buffalo '66 such a great movie, and for me, one of the best hidden pearls of cinema history (I realize this is a very bold statement, but please, bear with me, as this is nothing more, and nothing but, my personal opinion, and I by any means expect everyone to agree with it). This movie has it all! And by all I mean everything that makes a good movie and represents cinema as an all. It has a very heart-warming love story in the middle - one that although lacking in kisses, gives more in subtlety and true emotion - disguised in a not so obvious well crafted black comedy (read: dark humor) filled with events that sometimes really seem to blink an eye at Seinfeld. This all held by a very dynamic, and highly competent, group of supporting actors surrounded by a masterful score (most of it by Vincent Gallo himself) gives the movie an aesthetic very sui generis.

Talking of actors, Buffalo '66 has some really good acting performances, specially taking in consideration that most of the characters that inhabit the movie are, at best, strange, and at worst, disturbing and/or retarded. Billy's mother (Anjelica Huston) is completely fanatical for Buffalo's football team and regrets the day Billy was born because that was the day Buffalo won the NFL championship and she couldn't watch the game. Billy's father (Ben Gazzara) is a paranoid, very cheap man who pays more attention to is son's (supposed to be) wife cleavage then to his own son who's been away for 5 years. Then there's even some oscar-worthy interpretations, from which I have to point out the short 2 minutes appearance of Mickey Rourke that is insanely fascinating with his smoothness. Jan-Michael Vincent also shows his face for some short scenes in which he probably plays the last good roll of his career. And of course, Vincent Gallo himself steals the show as Billy, a paranoid , almost on the edge of OCD with a touch of perfectionist, and overall strange looks, make him a very bizarre, but still very approachable character that fails to see the romantic advances of Leyla, also well played by Christina Ricci, as a lolita, playful naive but very seductive girl.

So there you have it. Buffalo '66 is an awesome movie! And I cannot stop recommending it. The all show culminates with a climatic over-the-top scene where violence and sex/eroticism, possibly the two most primal "feelings" of Man, unite and dance to reach an unparallel, almost hallucinogenic, masterful moment of cinema that somes up what cinema is all about at its core: telling and recreating human emotions, in the most creative and different ways possible. And at that, Buffalo '66 is a major win!

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