Neon Bull
Neon Bull DVD - 2016 | Portuguese

No Hollywood-style underdog story, writer/director Gabriel Mascaro’s slow, lyrical poem of a film never moves far from where it began as Iremar’s days unfold in a heat shimmer of quotidian chores and flights of fancy while everywhere scenes of bulls and humans rutting, eating, and preening side by side—the former penned in by wooden gates, the latter by poverty and ignorance—blur the line between the Keepers and the Kept. While there may be some social overtones (curly vs straight hair provides a bone of contention) Mascaro more or less offers a gentle observance of dreams deferred that mixes classical allegory as when a carnal encounter between artist and muse unfolds (appropriately enough) in a garment factory, and welcome flashes of crude humour—an attempt to purloin prize horse semen will leave PETA members either outraged or reaching for a cigarette. Although other films have drawn parallels between animals and humans (1995’s "Angels and Insects" compared bugs to English gentry and Iceland’s upper crust was reduced to crumbs in 2013’s "Of Horses and Men") Mascaro doesn’t seem to have an ulterior agenda to push which makes his story all the more poignant.

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