After being away from the place of his youth for 30 years, Mata returns to Macao after receiving an email from his friend Candy, who seems to be in great danger. Not having seen Candy for years, she explains that she has once again gotten involved with the wrong man, with the consequences being very serious. With Macao being a very different place now, Mata must navigate through his own personal memories of the place he was raised in order to help Candy. Joao Pedro Rodrigues and Joao Rui Guerra da Mata's The Last Time in Macao is a truly unique experience that blends aspects of film noir, travelogue, and documentary to create a one of a kind film. This is a deeply personal account of the filmmaker's childhood, detailing how this city he once knew has gone through sweeping changes. Some may find the film is too personal at times, struggling to reach the viewer on an emotional level, but overall It transported me into this filmmaker's emotional viewpoint where I was able to relate to similar experiences of change in my own life. Mata and Rodrigues have lots to say, touching on interesting discussions about sovereignty, culture, death, and life but this window into their emotional state is what I found truly intoxicating. The film is narrated by Mata, much like some of the classic noirs, but we never are exposed to his face or body at all. We can identify with this man through his voice but this tactic forces the viewer to treat the city of Macao as its own character, a living and breathing world, where culture, history, and time blend. Visually the film is quite stunning, with editing and compositions that combine to affect the viewer on an emotional state whether it be fear, discomfort, or joy. To say I grasped everything the filmmakers were trying to say would be an out right lie, but The Last Time In Macao is almost a spiritual experience that delivers a unique vision of the effect time has on culture and life.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.