Buffalo '66

Buffalo '66 ★★★★

The always-relevant concept of ressentiment—it's okay to write, never to say out loud—was apparently popularized by Freddie Nietzsche to describe that sad combination of self-justification and envy that can be most easily found today on whichever social media platform you use to get a read on the gibbering mob's outrage of the hour. Buffalo '66, with its low-budget, low-stakes simplicity and its endearing actors, is in the top tier of the retarded (the literal definition of the word), aimless, self-destructive young man genre, as far as I can tell. The focal point of our ressentiment is clear enough to actually allow a resolution to the film: a rare treat given the lazy nihilism (mark that one off your reactionary-letterboxd bingo card) that swallows up the rest of the genre. In all these regards, even Taxi Driver may well be a lesser flick... but a sucker's born every minute, and I'm a sucker for that style. Gallo's got style enough to compete, though—I mean, there's not only a track from Yes' Fragile in here, but a Stan Getz tune! But really, the amount of wackiness keeps the sad boy flick from being the drag that you'd expect: for one, Jackie Treehorn lip-sings to pseudo-Sinatra.

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