João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata in person for Q&A!

The Last Time I Saw Macao, the recent feature by Portuguese duo João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, is a playful, quietly heartbreaking fusion of hardboiled neo-noir, mystical science fiction, and Markeresque memory-play. The two filmmakers' talent is on equal display in the four short films the pair made between 2007 and 2012: formally inventive, genre-bending reflections on alienation, loneliness, liberation and desire.

In China, China, a woman wanders through Lisbon heckled by children and hungry for a kind of escape. Red Dawn observes the day-to-day business of a Macao meat market with equal parts horrific detail and poetic grace. Rodrigues' The Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day (Views from the Avant-Garde, 2012) is another portrait of young people wandering aimlessly around Lisbon—zombified, hung-over teens glued to their cells, straying home from a night out on the morning of the nation’s annual holiday for lovers. Finally, in Guerra da Mata’s As the Flames Rose, Rodrigues plays a mysterious man holed up in in his darkened bedroom, holding an extended, one-way conversation with an absent lover as the world beyond his windows dissolves into flames. Taken together, these shorts confirm Rodrigues and Guerra da Mata’s status as two of the most imaginative, original voices in contemporary European cinema.

China, China
João Pedro Rodrigues + João Rui Guerra da Mata | 2007 | 19m

Red Dawn
João Pedro Rodrigues + João Rui Guerra da Mata | 2011 | 28m

Morning of Saint Anthony's Day
João Pedro Rodrigues | 2011 | 25m

As the Flames Rose
João Rui Guerra da Mata | 2012 | 26m