“Neon Bull” (Boi Neon) will open at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FilmLinc) this Friday, April 8th. The screening will run for an entire week /various show times, so this is a grand chance to watch Gabriel Mascaro’s latest film on the big screen. FilmLinc describes the Brazilian director as “one of international cinema’s most exciting new auteurs” , taking opportunity to celebrate and revisit his entire filmography. Besides Neon Bull, FilmLinc will screen “Housemaids”, August Winds”, “High Rise”and “Avenida Brasilia Formosa”, from April 15th until April 19th. More info at: http://www.filmlinc.org/series/gabriel-mascaro-ebbs-flows/
A rodeo movie unlike any other, Gabriel Mascaro’s Venice and Toronto prize-winning follow-up to his 2014 fiction debut August Winds tracks handsome cowboy Iremar (Juliano Cazarré) as he travels around to work at vaquejada rodeos, a Brazilian variation on the sport in which two men on horseback attempt to bring a bull down by its tail. Iremar dreams of becoming a fashion designer, creating flamboyant outfits for his co-worker, single mother Galega (Maeve Jinkings). Along with Galega’s daughter Cacá and a bullpen worker named Zé, these complex characters, drawn with tremendous compassion and not an ounce of condescension, make up an unorthodox family, on the move across the northeast Brazilian countryside. Sensitive to matters of gender and class, and culminating in one of the most audacious and memorable sex scenes in recent memory, Neon Bull is a quietly affirming exploration of desire and labor, a humane and sensual study of bodies at work and at play. A Kino Lorber release.
Mascaro’s first narrative work is a sultry, richly sensorial meditation on sex, death, and decay in the tropics. In a remote seaside village, a steamy love affair between a city girl (Dandara de Morais) and a country boy (Geová Manoel dos Santos) unfolds on a lush coconut farm—until their languor is interrupted by a chilling discovery. Though working from a script, Mascaro’s documentary impulse prevails in his attention to the tempestuous meteorology (the director himself plays a scientist researching the winds) and weather-beaten landscapes of coastal Brazil in the climate-change era. Through stunningly composed images, he creates a haunting portrait of a place where life can be washed away at any moment.
Avenida Brasilia Formosa
Interweaving tales of memories, dreams, and desires play out amid a rapidly changing urban landscape in Mascaro’s vivid blend of documentary and fiction. Displaced from their homes to make way for the construction of a highway, residents of a poor neighborhood in Recife—including a fisherman, a young boy, and a hairdresser intent on reality TV stardom—press on with their lives, while around them their neighborhood is transformed. Mascaro’s eye for moments of everyday poetry enhances this strikingly shot portrait of a resilient community, which is rich with the vibrant sights and sounds of the favela.
In Brazil, a country riddled with poverty, a select few soar above it all. Using the modern high rise as a metaphor for income inequality, Mascaro talks to an assortment of the wealthiest: penthouse owners who tower, both literally and metaphorically, over everyone else. From their castles in the sky, these elites offer candid, sometimes jaw-dropping thoughts on status, social inequity, and their own situations. Visually, Mascaro achieves a dizzying study of verticality, capturing the buildings’ vertiginous architecture and their impact on the urban landscape. The result is a provocative, poetic reflection on power, privilege, and life at the top.
For this provocative social experiment, Mascaro armed seven teenagers with movie cameras in order to film their live-in maids for a week. From the footage they shot, he assembled this eye-opening portrait of deep-seated class divisions within the Brazilian home. As the housekeepers carry out their daily work, they reveal intimate, sometimes painful details about their personal lives and their complex relationships to the families they work for. The results are alternately humorous and heartbreaking, cutting to the core of entrenched social hierarchies inextricably bound to race, gender, and Brazil’s colonialist history. An Icarus Films release.
Ebb and Flow Rodrigo, a young deaf man with HIV, lives in Recife with his mother and 4-year-old daughter and has a job installing car stereos in the outskirts of the city. His daily motions draw us into a journey made up of ordinary experiences, yet they also reveal subtle layers of his character as Mascaro captures his expressive body in movement—while he signs to a friend, deftly fixes a stereo system, or dances to the vibrations of surrounding music.