Ei, gente! Hey, guys!
Since the Oscars are coming up esse mês (this month), how about we get into the movie-watching mood – preferably with Brazilian movies? As we know, watching movies in a foreign language is an effective learning tool and a means to familiarize oneself with a culture.
Today we’re going to falar sobre (talk about) prominent, award-winning movie director Gabriel Mascaro, whose movie Boi Neon just came out in the theaters.
Mascaro nasceu (was born) in the cidade (city) of Recife and is part of a new wave of moviemakers springing from the Northeastern region of Brazil over the past decade. His critically-acclaimed movies have made the director a representative of contemporary Brazilian cinema.
Here is a brief summary of his most relevant works, some of which are available for streaming on Netflix, Mubi and Youtube:
Boi Neon (Neon Bull) – 2015
Mascaro’s newest release and segundo (second) feature film, Boi Neon is set in the northeast of Brazil and follows the story of Iremar, who trabalha (works) as a traveling bullhandler at traditional rodeos called “vaquejadas” – namely the second highest grossing sport in the country after soccer. Morando (Living) in his truck with his family and working crew, when the protagonist is not ocupado (busy) as a cowhand, Iremar gosta (enjoys) sewing and has higher ambitions of tornar-se (becoming) a designer for women’s clothing. Neon Bull fornece (provides) a unique look into the Brazilian backwoods and its itinerant characters without falling into the usual clichés.
Ventos de Agosto (August Winds) – 2014
Mascaro’s debut feature film, August Winds explores the relationship between o casal (the couple) Shirley and Jason, two coconut plantation workers. The story acontece (takes place) in an island strongly affected by the wind. It was the director’s first incursion in fiction after working in short films and documentaries, who escolheu (chose) to cast non-professional actors for this film. Surrounded by astonishing natural landscapes, the characters devem (must) deal with the tide, the wind and an unexpected event that will prompt them into a reflection on vida (life) and (morte) death.
Doméstica (Housemaids) – 2012
A group of sete (seven) middle-class adolescentes (teenagers) have the mission to film their housemaids por uma semana (for a week). They are given cameras and supposed to record the women’s daily activities, actions and palavras (words), a concept that offers an intimate look into those houses. A compelling approach to say the least, Mascaro works with that footage to create an immersive experience that results in a revealing examination of human relations and a fascinating portrait of the domestic workers.
Um Lugar ao Sol (High Rise) -2009
Literally translated as “a place in the sun”, High Rise reflects upon the implications of owning a upper-class penthouse on the coast in a poverty-ridden country. The movie consists of a series of interviews with the residents of those apartments, who open their doors to the film crew and openly discuss their viewpoints and opinions. Often disquieting but gripping nonetheless, Mascaro turns a satirical eye into the shallow lives and alienated, insensitive minds of its privileged, wealthy dwellers, through powerful images that enhance the sense of being disconnected from reality.
Espero que gostem do trabalho dele! (I hope you appreciate his work!)