Neon Bull DVD review

Detailing the slowly building world, faced by many of use everyday, is central to The world of Brazilian Rodeo is a masculine place. Men work on the animals, cleaning them, pulling them, catching them and even mating them. Inside this is Iremar. He works for a woman boss, inside a crew of three men and the daughter of the boss by day. By night he designs clothes for runway shows and believes that beauty is the derived from the animals he maintains. Every show gives him more inspiration. Leading him to discover the perfect dress to create and the perfect design to reflect this world of bull and man.

Opposites attract. It is not an empty statement to make in regard to Neon Bull. From its premise the obvious opposition is clear. The opposites of masculine roles of men with bulls, wrestling and roughly handling them, counterpoised with feminine roles of men with material and sewing machines. However this is not transparent. Iremar character preens the bulls like a lover would. He constructs fierce and forceful designs inspired by animals. These juxtapositions are not rare in the film and create complexity for our characters to navigate. Director Mascaro seems even handed throughout the film because of this. It draws you in because of expectations but fixes you because it layers everything.

For instance. When we see other men ogle woman as Sexual beings, Iremar clothes them, yet only to create another objectification of them as clothes horses. Iremar played with tenderness and rough masculinity by Julian Cazarre, illustrates how delivery and tone make an actor draw you in. Before I mention the extras I would like to also note the cinematography. Many components of the film are literally stunning but this is not just visually appealing. It is sumptuous. It is visually compelling. It forms thematic motifs within the piece. Neon light sharpen senses with weakness but also shows the directors ability to connect the dream space with a cinematographer who is able to bridge truth and tales.

The extras are a mixture of the sophisticated, examination and the bland. The written piece by David Jenkins of Little White Lies fame and is actually an interview with the films director. Jenkins seems to gauge what is core to the films essential drive. The use of natural performance, improvisation and slow pans all marry up the piece. He also extrapolated Neon Bull’s central concept, opposition without making it feel tired or over worked. The documentation of the film on set and via behind the scenes added little additional detail, not opened up in the interview with the director but is fun enough to watch for chemistry. Actors that seem to get each other are rare.

· Neon Bull (2015) – presented complete and uncut from a brand new transfer of the film

· Interview with director Gabriel Mascarao

· Extended ‘Making of’ featurette

· Booklet featuring writing on the film by Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso and Little White Lies editor-in-chief David Jenkins

· Original Portuguese soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo

· New and improved English subtitle translation.

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Simon Kennedy

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