Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Gabriel Mascaro. 2016, 101 mins. DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Aptly described as “wild, sensual, and utterly transporting” by the Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, Neon Bull marks a great leap forward for Gabriel Mascaro, the Brazilian writer-director whose background as a documentary filmmaker is revealed in his deeply observational style. He is creating a form of poetic realism, and Neon Bull is a bold and transgressive look at sexual identity within the context of the vaquejada, an exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails. The freewheeling film revolves around a traveling group of performers, including a rugged cowhand who spends much of his time fashioning sexy outfits for a truck-driving female exotic dancer.
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