Friday, June 14, 2013

All About Ah Long - Chow Yun Fat (1989) - Estrada de San Francisco, Macau

For those who haven't already seen it, the denouement of this film takes place on the street-based racing circuit that runs around peninsular Macau. The Macau Grand Prix is a long-standing and very popular event and once every year the streets are closed off as the various races get underway.

From a practical point of view the film had to be filmed during one of the real Grand Prix (not sure the Macau Govt would have allowed these major roads to be closed for anything other than that event) along the proper, so-called, Guia Circuit. It's an autumn-based event so I expect this part of the film was filmed in the autumn of 1988?

Anyway, in the first of a few street scenes as the bikers race around the course, we get a few glimpses of Macau, starting with the Military Club building along Estrada de San Francisco.

It only takes a quick glimpse of the similarly angled Streetview shot below to see how much development has occurred in Macau. The big monolith at the back of the lower shot is Stanley Ho's new Lisboa Casino. It certainly gets my vote as being one of the ugliest buildings on the planet and seriously ruins the whole Macau skyline. Coincidentally, when it was first opened it was Chow Yun Fat who featured on the TV adverts, but I suspect that was due to his fame as the God of Gamblers rather than the fact that he raced by here on a motorbike.

Anyway, other than getting a lick of new paint, the Clube De Militar has changed not a jot. Another good example of how well compared to HK the Macau authorities value their older buildings (just a shame they couldn't apply the same feeling of preservation to their skyline).

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