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393 Ratings

The Last Time I Saw Macao

A Última Vez Que Vi Macau

Portugal, France, 2012
  • Portuguese
  • English


Two directors embark on a journey of discovery to Macao, a multicultural labyrinth-city. The Oriental childhood memories of one–fictionalized recollections of a vivid reality–enter into dialogue with the other’s memories taken from films, book or paintings–vivid memories of a fictionalized reality.

Our take

Evocatively remixing the essay film as a thriller, Portuguese auteurs João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata honor the gambling capital of the world with this oneiric trip. Macao is expressed here as if it were inside of a hazy, unforgettable dream reckoning with the shadow of colonialism.

The Last Time I Saw Macao Directed by João Rui Guerra da Mata, João Pedro Rodrigues

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Best Director (Swiss Critics Boccalino Award)

2012 | Special Mention



Rodrigues and Guerra da Mata thus manage to fashion a labyrinth that suggests both Marker’s vortices of time and memory (the film is full of temporal markers: watches, clocks, and countdowns) and Welles’ sinister, centerless mazes. If one finds the labyrinth over-contrived, it’s best to remember Jane Russell’s own counsel in Macao as she snarls at Robert Mitchum, "It’s all a matter of taste.
April 08, 2014
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Unclassifiable and unpredictable… The film is tantalizingly drawn to the disconnect between what we see and what we hear, a dissociative spell it seems to link to the post-colonialist mindset (Mata, after all, plays a Portuguese filmmaker returning as if by some magnetic pull to his old colony). Moreover, street animals – specifically cats – are omnipresent throughout as bizarre escorts, suggesting Rodrigues and Mata are consciously working in the lineage of Chris Marker.
December 11, 2013
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…The detached Sans Soleil style approach works as both a summation of the film’s themes… and a neat way to avoid the difficulty of presenting complicated action realistically… The visual motif of animals, from balloon tigers to dog statues, gets denser as the film progresses, and things seem to be pushing even farther back in time, past ideas of control and conquest to a state of pure natural supremacy, like the mist-wreathed fugue that caps off Werner Herzog’s Aguirre.
September 16, 2013
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