Vincent Gallo: Baroque Aesthetics and 'Buffalo '66'
(at time of presentation)
Michael Leonard completed his PhD in Film and Visual Studies at Queen’s University Belfast in 2013, which focused on the work of the French film-maker Philippe Garrel. He is particularly interested in theorising the relationship between cinema and politics, and other current research areas of interest include the cinema and cultural politics of Guy Debord and the Situationists. His recent research has also incorporated the aesthetics of Hollywood cinema, exploring its relationship with modernism.
Vincent Gallo has emerged as an awkward and at times controversial figure in film-making. The diversity of his roles as film director, actor, fashion model, musician and contemporary artist has lead for the most part to a critical neglect of his cinematic output. This neglect has been encouraged by a controversial public profile – notably the saga at Cannes on the presentation of his second feature Brown Bunny – that has threatened to exceed his reputation as a film-maker. This paper argues that his work merits greater attention due to his innovative and experimental film style. It makes this argument with reference to Buffalo ’66 and an aesthetic developed here that can be best be encapsulated by the term ‘baroque’.