Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Bang Bang is a surreal slapstick comedy which has episodes rather than a story as such. Its extremely enigmatic symbolic content, rich with ethnically Brazilian materials, marks it as being influenced by the "Cinema Novo" filmmaking movement which appeared in Brazil in the '60s. Unlike films from the Cinema Novo period, this Portuguese-language film has no particular political content and is designed with entertainment in mind. Cinema Novo was an attempt to begin a genuinely Brazilian form of filmmaking, and it combined ethnic symbolism with local politics; while films inspired by the movement infuriated censors, they did not catch the imagination of the Brazilian public. In this film, a man tries to shave while wearing a monkey mask, and makes love while wearing it. As the episodes progress, the monkey-masked man begins to be dogged by a strange group of men whom he disowns, including a firearm-shooting blind man, a transvestite and a native chieftain. Their slapstick interactions are marked by a high degree of improvisation.