Thirty years later I’m on my way to Macao where I haven’t been since I was a child. I got an e-mail, in Lisbon, from Candy, a friend I hadn’t heard from in ages. She told me that she had been involved yet again with the wrong men and asked me to go to Macao where “strange and scary things” were happening. Tired, after a long flight, I’m approaching Macao aboard the jetfoil which will take me back to the happiest time in my life.
João Rui Guerra da Mata started working in film in 1995 as an art director on a number of short and feature films, notably those of João Pedro Rodrigues. He directed China, China (2007), a short, before co-scripting João Pedro Rodrigues’s To Die Like a Man (2009). –Locarno Film Festival
João Pedro Rodrigues was born in Lisbon in 1966. After studying biology at Lisbon University he attended the Lisbon Film School, where he obtained his diploma. His public film career began at the 54th Venice Festival in 1997 with the short Parabéns!, which won the Special Jury Prize. In the same year he made Esta é a minha casa and Viagem à Expo, a two-part documentary. In 2000 he directed his first fiction feature, O Fantasma, which was screened in the 57th Venice Festival’s Official Competition. In 2005, Odete won several awards including a Cinémas de Recherche Special Mention at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. His feature project To Die Like a Man was selected in 2007 by Cinéfondation for L’Atelier in Cannes and was released in 2009. –Locarno Film Festival
A thriller narrated in the first person in which we never see the protagonist, or for that matter any of the action described onscreen. Fascinating from a formal standpoint, attaining a strangely meditative quality and leaving the audience as disoriented as its protagonist. Unfortunately it's also a bit frustrating, even with its short running time. Still, it's an audacious experiment, even if it doesn't always work.
The Last Time I Saw Macao's tropical smoke-hued noir weaves cinematic nostalgia and childhood memory in a fragmented labyrinthine search for a friend in danger and fleeting glimpses of the past. Filmmakers Guerra da Mata and Pedro Rodrigues aspires for an evocative and compelling work, but the final reel coveys how the editing room eludes their narrative, and imparts the impression that all is lost in the wilderness.
A breakdown of the VIFF experience, its qualities and traits.
Our annual round-up of all the posters for the main slate of the New York Film Festival.
An evaluation of the feature films programmed in TIFF’s Wavelengths section.
A wrap-up overview of Locarno—which turns out to be the last under Artistic Director Olivier Père—its prize-winners and highlights.