The Last Time I Saw Macao: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: The Last Time I Saw Macao

New York Film Festival 2012: The Last Time I Saw Macao


Codirected by NYFF alum João Pedro Rodrigues (To Die Like a Man), this endlessly inventive film essay explores the strange allure of the Chinese metropolis of Macao. A Portuguese colony until 1999, the city is practically a country all its own, with its own legal, monetary and immigration policies. Likewise, Rodrigues and his collaborator, João Rui Guerra da Mata, give their semifictional portrait its own unique tenor, opening with a grin-inducing musical number—a drag queen lip-synching to a Jane Russell ditty (“You Kill Me”) from the exotic 1952 adventure film Macao—and segueing into a uniquely moving sci-fi-noir tale of murderous gangsters, an arcane secret society and apocalyptic rebirth. To paraphrase the great Russell, the movie has the power to make you laugh and the power to break your heart in half.—Keith Uhlich

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