Predicting Buffalo ’66

Having been submerged into more mainstream movies I usually go into the movie knowing what is going to happen. Yet, when I started to watch Buffalo ’66 it made me realize that sometimes even indie movies have a somewhat clear path that you can look into.

All throughout the movie I was in an emotional roller coaster, I mean I am pretty sure there were other people in the same position as I was. While watching the movie it was very interesting relating back to what Newman had said about the aesthetics of Indie movies and how they differ from Hollywood movies.

Newman’s “Form is a Game” is absolutely right with Indie movies. Since, in the movie we are given little information about Billie and why he is coming out of jail. Yet, later on in the movie we are given more and more information about what it is that makes Billie a bipolar person (of course we don’t know this as a fact, but I jumped to conclusions on this idea of mine).  Anyways, the way that we are given this information is by the random flash backs and by random I mean, the way that they are shown, cutting through a scene by popping up the flash back in a small square rising to the top until completely covering the previous scene.

We also see how they dramatize the focus on one person. Like when Billie’s father is singing to Leila. How the spotlight hits him and helps set the “mood” in that scene when he sings.


Also when Leila decides to tap dance while Billie waits for his pinballs to rearrange. It is very unique in the way that you typically don’t see this in movies. Maybe animated movies like a princess movie where the spotlight is on the main character and she brakes out singing. Going back to what I had said before about Leila I actually thought that they would make her sing, but of course I was wrong.


tap dancing

Going back to how the director makes us see Billie and changed our opinion on him is greatly directed by the realism that his character is. Like the way in the beginning he is given a jerk type of character, but later on we realize that he acts the way he does because of the environment in which he was raised in. The creator of this person, in my opinion, wanted to show us many types of situations that people may go through and cram it into one character. Giving us something to relate to.


The way that I related to Billie was in how he had a one sided love for the longest time. I am pretty sure there are other people out there that have gone through the same situation or know of someone that has had that problem.

Yet, the way that I would interpret the movie and Newman’s ideas is that we don’t really have a clear view of what Indie is, but we do know that it tries to go above and beyond to give us a social message that we wouldn’t really see in Hollywood movies. They try to give us characters that we can relate to and sometimes if we are lucky we are given plots that we can kind of depict and know how the movie may end up like.


2 thoughts on “Predicting Buffalo ’66

  1. I totally agree about the emotional roller coaster. Despite the fact that Billy had just gotten out of jail, I was continually surprised at his outbursts towards Layla. I like the unconventional way that Layla’s conflict (being kidnapped) was presented. I mean sure, it was more realistic, but it was just so different from how you might see it in a mainstream movie.

    I realize it was Stockholm Syndrome, but I was also continually surprised at Layla attraction towards Billy. I wondered if she truly liked him, or if she was just acting that way so she wouldn’t get killed or something.

  2. I completely agree with you in your post about “Buffalo ’66.” I was just as confused in the beginning like you were about why Billy was getting out of jail but as the movie continued on I was able to make the connections in how Billy ended up in the situation that he was in. The one character who I could not figure out throughout the entire movie was Layla. She always left me puzzled in her actions for example when she constantly went along with what Billy was asking her to do when in fact she could have escaped at any time. I also was in confusion about how we never got to know Layla more as a character or her background; we only saw who her character was by her interaction with Billy and his family.

    I also agree with you that flashbacks played an important part in this movie when relating to form. While we were watching the movie, or maybe this was just me, but I was left questioning sometimes about Billy’s character and why he acted the way he did but with the flashbacks on Billy’s life I was able to understand what happened in his childhood to make him end up the way he was.

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