Boi Neon (Neon Bull) – (*)

Posted: December 31, 2016 in 1/2, 2015, Brasil, Drama
Tags: ,

There is something wrong with members of film festival juries and art house movie reviewers. They praise and reward exploitation movies with no substance whatsoever and mediocre cinematic appeal. And because they do this, more of these movies are made.

Neon Bull is part of an interesting movie box containing ten of the best movie releases from 2016 of which I’ve only seen three so far: Carol **, Room **(*), Spotlight ***. The others are El Clan, Son Of Saul, Heart of A Dog, Elle, 45 Years and White Dog. 

Neon Bull skipped my radar. It may have received rave reviews and it may have won several awards, it didn’t make a long run in the cinemas. Neither here, nor in Brazil or anywhere else in the world. And there’s a good reason for that: it’s just not good.

The characters are boring and there is no story at all. It’s just a collection of scenes, set in the initially intriguing setting of a traveling rodeo circus in Brazil. Some scenes are well filmed, sure, but the action and the dialogue in the scenes are terrible. Not one of them is appealing. Some reviews rave about the ‘natural’ sex scene between the main lead and a pregnant lady. Really? There’s hardcore porn (from Brazil at least) that’s more poetic and romantic!

Neon Bull is the kind of movie that people make to get selected in film festivals and to get rave reviews in ‘the better’ newspapers. It’s all so premeditated. The movie does not feel real. It feels like it’s all made with one purpose only: to wow movie critics and film festival jurors. And to have people write about it. (which works, because this is a long entry) It’s not made with a heart. Nor is it made to reach out to a large audience. In fact, it’s made to reach out to the elitist better off, so they can look at the exotic lesser off.

It’s all so calculated. You can imagine the movie director and his producers sit together and think: “let’s have a sex scene with a pregnant lady and make it look artistic”, “let’s add a little pointless side story to show a guy jerking of a horse’s penis! we’ll make the audience believe he does it to steal stallion sperm, because he needs the money, but all people will talk/write about is the masturbating scene”, “let’s film animal cruelty not to show animal cruelty, but to make people talk about it”, “let’s make a mother slap her child”, “let’s show how poor these rodeo worker are by filming them taking a very basic shower”, “let’s add a Brazilian wax scene in a truck driver seat. that’ll be cool”

I’m sure those who love the movie will disagree. But at least one person needs to write that this movie should be renamed Neon Bullshit.



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