O COLÍRIO DO CORMAN ME DEIXOU DOIDO DEMAIS CORMAN’S EYEDROPS GOT ME TOO CRAZY
O BACANAL DO DIABO E OUTRAS FITAS PROIBIDAS DE IVAN CARDOSO ORGY OF THE DEVIL AND OTHER FORBIDDEN TAPES OF IVAN CARDOSO
Sounds, rhythms, visions, words, bodies and faces, wind, dust and sand. Characters out of a dream, exposed yet secret, who appear and disappear to return and appear further away like the temporary places where the desert rose is born. The human condition, painful, living life: children and women, men and animals, in the world of a film, in the times of a film. Not many people had a chance to watch “Rosa de areia” in its time. It was immediately forgotten as turned out to be too unusual. Cordeiro said that for her this film is as if it was the first film that came from the earth and spoke about it: “It was a complex and fugitive palimpsest on the screen, a game of light and shadow, sounds and silence”. Those who were lucky enough to see the picture and who had enough sensitivity to its prodigious beauty, compared what they had experienced with religious feelings. The first work of the duo, shot on 35 mm, has become their testament. A screen adaptation of Juan Rulfo’s novel ”Pedro Paramo” should have been their next project. Unfortunately in 1991 Reis died unexpectedly. And since that time Cordeiro has never stood behind the camera.
In a faraway mountain region of Portugal, a family lives with few contacts with the exterior world. Its members are like traces of another era. Their isolation will be disturbed by a group of ethnologists with whom they will nurture a distant, even hostile relationship. At “Ana” Reis and Cordeiro return to Trás-os-Montes. Since the shooting of their debut, the region has changed a lot. Researchers, anthropologists and tourists have habituated to this place, and the residents are trying to get rid of unwelcome visitors. The directors were not going to repeat the experience of the past film, as it was already irreplaceable. They wanted to say farewell to the outgoing nature. “Ana” is a poetic portrait of Cordeiro’s mother, who lives in a small village. Once again, it is not just a typical documentary: for example, there is the part of a fictional Ana’s son, whose image is largely written off from Cordeiro herself.
There lies the mountainous region of Trás-os-Montes in the north of Portugal. Life in it seems to have frozen forever. Locals sometimes confuse the thirteenth century with the twentieth, and King Afonso’s decrees of the 1250’s are still the basis of law here. In these mountains one can get lost not only in the area but also in time, going from one village to another. Here, all families are so intermingled that it is almost impossible to avoid incest. But the world around it is changing and unwittingly drags into its cycle Trás-os-Montes, lost in the mountains. “This film, to me, is a revelation of a new cinematographic language. Never, as far as I know, has a director managed to capture the cinematographic expression of a region: that is, a difficult communion between man, landscape and the seasons. Only a foolish poet could distribute such a disturbing object. Despite the barriers in a language that is as rough as the granite in the mountains, the ghosts of an undoubtedly essential myth suddenly appear, in the curve of a new path, because we have recognised them even before we met them.” Jean Rouch, Libération, 1978.