Criterion is proud to present Víctor Erice’s spellbinding The Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena), widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s. In a small Castilian village in 1940, in the wake of the country’s devastating civil war, six-year-old Ana attends a traveling movie show of Frankenstein and becomes possessed by the memory of it. Produced as Franco’s long regime was nearing its end, The Spirit of the Beehive is a bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life and one of the most visually arresting movies ever made.
—The Criterion Collection
Spanish director Victor Erice made two of his country’s most important and critically lauded films, El Espiritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) (1973) and Sur (The South) (1983). Erice had studied political science before entering the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas in 1960. Shortly after graduation in 1963, he worked as a film critic and worked on the script for Antonio Eceiza’s El Proximo Otoño (Next Autumn) (1963). He also collaborated on Miguel Picazo’s Oscuros Sueños de Agosto (Dark Dreams of August) (1967). Influential producer Elías Querejeta provided Erice his first opportunity to direct by assigning him a chance to helm one of three episodes in Los Desafios (The Challenges) (1969). Following his success with El Sur, Erice became a prolific director of television commercials and worked uncredited on numerous other feature films. In 1992, Erice reemerged on the film scene with his dream-like documentary of painter Antonio Lopez’s quest for… read more
CC#351: For all the talk of this being dreamlike or embodying ‘poetic cinema’, Erice’s debut equally remains fairly lucid a montage - though the innate intimacy and earnestness of the sleepy tapestry on which it rests, capturing both the geography and its inhabitants, means that barely registers as a complaint. Rather, a mysterious and enchanting take on the transportive nature of cinema.
Fantastic. Guillermo del Toro probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for this film (horror and monster movies notwithstanding). Excellent portrayal of the real-world horror behind horror stories, the power of the imagination, and the joys (and woes) of being a child. Superb acting on the part of the children. Great Bresson-style pacing, and excellent color photography. Not to be missed.
The cult director of Two-Lane Blacktop returns with his first feature in twenty years.
English Title: The Spirit of the Beehive
Original Title: El espíritu de la colmena
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Director: Victor Erice… read review
Whats up everybody? I’m taking it back to my old myspace blog days to talk about a movie that i use to always bring up on there. I just got back from my second trip to Barcelona, and realized i haven… read review
First of all, i wanna said thank you to Victor Erice, for making this visually breathtaking film. Without this film, i guarantee there will be no Pan’s Labyrinth. It is clear cut that Guillermo Del… read review