Jaime & The Sand Rose
May 20, 2012
While working at Lisbon’s famed Miguel Bombarda sanatorium, psychologist Margarida Cordeiro discovered a series of arresting drawings by the subject of her first film with Reis, a recently deceased former patient and paranoid schizophrenic named Jaime Fernandes. Keeping a deeply respectful yet never tentative distance from the asylum world as a realm of unfathomable mystery, Reis and Cordeiro linger over Fernandes’ remarkably expressive drawings, assembling a profoundly moving and hypnotic portrait of a gifted artist and powerful emblem of Portugal’s virtual imprisonment during the repressive Salazar regime.
The Sand Rose (Rosa de Areia)
Marking a stylistically and philosophically turn away from the earlier features, The Sand Rose is Reis and Cordeiro’s most abstract, conceptual and literary work. The film’s collage structure gathers texts from multiple sources – including Kafka and Montaigne – and crafts a world of theatrical artifice far from the documentary inspired naturalism of Ana and Trás-os-Montes. Reis and Cordeiro’s least known film has lingered in obscurity and never recovered from the unfairly negative reviews that resulted in its severely limited release. Reis died less than two years later, just as he and Cordeiro were about to begin an ambitious adaptation of Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Parámo.