Neon Bull (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 24, 2016 by Dennis Amith
Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” is a unique, sensual film that entertains viewers with its honest portrayal of its characters that work within the vaquejada in northeastern Brazil. Recommended!
© 2015 Desvia, Malbicho cine, Viking Film, Canal Brasil. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Neon Bull
DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: 103 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2:35:1, Portuguese 5.1 Surround, Optional English Subtitles
COMPANY: Kino Lorber Inc.
RATED: NOT RATED
RELEASE DATE: September 6, 2016
Directed by Gabriel Mascaro
Written by Gabriel Mascaro
Produced by Rachel Ellis
Co-Produced by Rodrigo Pia, Sandino Saravia Vinay, Marleen Slot
Music by Carlos Montenegro, Otavio Santos
Cinematography by Diego Garcia
Edited by Fernando Epstein, Eduardo Serrano
Art Direction by Maira Mesquita
Juliano Cazarre as Iremar
Maebe Jinkings as Galega
Josinaldo Alves as Mario
Roberto Berindelli as Fazendeiro
Samya De Lavor as Geise
Vinicius de Oliveira as Junior
Abigail Pereira as Valquiria
Carlos Pessoa as Ze
Alyne Santa as Caca
Neon Bull is a wild, sensual and transporting experience. Brazilian writer-director Gabriel Mascaro s second fiction feature (after August Winds), it takes place within the world of the vaquejada, a demanding traditional style of rodeo in which cowboys attempt to wrest bulls to the ground by their tails. Neon Bull explores this dangerous job through the eyes of Iremar (Juliano Cazarre ), a mysterious and handsome cowboy who cares for the bulls. While riding the roads with the animals and his close-knit circle of outcast friends, he begins to think of a world outside the ring, dreaming of sequins and fabrics and of his desire to become a fashion designer.
Filmmaker Gabriel Macaro known for his documentary “HOUSEMAIDS” and his first feature film “Ventos de Agosto” (August Winds) has received a lot of attention and critically praised reviews. And his 2015 film “Boi Neon” (Neon Bull) would receive nominations and win awards at various festivals around the world.
And now Macaro’s “Neon Bull” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber.
Shot in northeastern Brazil, the film captures life for those who work at the Vaquejadas (a rodeo in which two cowboys ride on horseback to bring down a bull by grabbing its tail).
One of the cowboys, Iremar (portrayed by Juliano Cazarre) shares his quarters with others from the rodeo and lives in a truck that transports livestock to various events. While most of the day, he is grooming the animals and doing his fill of shoveling manure, his passion is creating costumes, especially for his sexy female friend, Galega.
One of the truck drivers, Galega (portrayed by Maeve Jinkings) is an exotic dancer who is a truck driver by day, but participates in sexy dances for patrons wearing a horse head and tail, while neon lights shine upon her.
Galega’s husband is hardly in the picture but she has to raise her daughter Caca (portrayed by Aline Santana) who is a bit curious for her own good and being one of the youngsters touring with the Vaquejadas crew, she tends to find things that others are not wanting her to know. Such as Ze’s (portrayed by Carlos Pessoa) stash of pornography.
But Galega is more interested in trying to live her life and is not so thrilled that Caca lives with her and not going to school and feels she should live with her grandmother, so she can live a better life at school.
Meanwhile, Galega becomes attracted to the new guy named Junior (portrayed by Vinicius de Oliveira). While, Iremar starts to take interest in a pregnant woman who tends to show up selling cologne and perfume which she works during the day and working as a security guard at night.
Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” is a honest portrayal of life within a group of people within a Vaquejadas crew.
“Neon Bull” is presented in 1080p (2:35:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality for the most part is very good. Closeups show great detail, lighting is very well done when focused on the characters (lighting plays a big part in the film). Skintones look natural, black levels are nice and deep and there is a good amount of grain throughout the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Neon Bull” is presented in Portuguese 5.1 Surround. The lossless soundtrack is crystal clear, rodeo announcer and crowd ambiance or animal ambiance can be heard through the surround channels. Dialogue is crystal-clear as the club music and subtitles are easy to read.
“Neon Bull” comes with the following special features:
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette – (14:30) Behind-the-scenes of the rehearsing and filming of “Neon Bull”.
- Interview with Director Gabriel Mascaro – (21:09) Interview with filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro about “Neon Bull”
- Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “Neon Bull”
When it comes to showcasing characters in a natural light, filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro is able to accomplish that very well in his previous films including his latest, “Neon Bull”.
A film that focuses on people that work within the vaquejada in northeast Brazil, “Neon Bull” is a film that is not a film one follows for its story, because there really isn’t one. If anything, it’s an honest portrayal of workers that live their life, making sure they take care of the animals and try to co-exist with each other.
Iremar works in the upkeep of the animals, creating sultry costumes for the female driver, Galega (who behave like brother and sister) and often helping out her daughter Caca, who is at that age of sexual curiosity but still wanting her mother’s attention but never receiving much of it.
While the film can be described as sensual or sultry, considering how much dedication is put into the sex scenes in the film, one can find enjoyment in the film for its actions and dialogue. To even the animals as Iremar and Ze use the scent of a mar to arouse a stallion, to steal his sperm to a group of guys showering together nude, filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro wants to show viewers how sex, to maintaining animals is just as everyday part of life for the characters.
But humor can be found in the film as Iremar’s pot-bellied co-worker Ze is often looking at porno and while his sticky nude pages are often drawn over by Iremar trying to envision fashion and drawing it on the nude women, he and Ze are often involved in verbal spars as Ze can’t understand why Iremar focuses to much on fashion and not the women.
But when Ze is transferred and a long-haired young man named Junior arrives and immediately, he starts to get the attention of all the women including young Caca, which leaves Iremar quite jealous.
Meanwhile for female character, Galega, she is stuck trying to work as a truck driver for the animals, wanting to have fun with the men but her life is made difficult as she feels her young daughter Caca is in her way. So, as Galega tries to focus on her work and her life, most often, Caca is with Iremar.
So, if anything, it’s those small interactions which makes up for the film. Emotions of characters, character interaction and how everything culminates into an honest, entertaining film.
As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is very good as cinematography showcases the characters, character interactions with animal or their daily worklife, to the lighting that shines on them when indoors, to their events with the neon bull. The cinematography brings the characters to life. And as for audio, the loss audio features crystal clear dialogue, music and also surround sound usage geared for crowd, animals or announcer ambiance. And the film has a good number of special features included such as a behind-the-scenes featurette and an interview with director Gabriel Mascaro.
Overall, Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” is a unique, sensual film that entertains viewers with its honest portrayal of its characters that work within the vaquejada in northeastern Brazil. Recommended!
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