Victor Erice – Original Works

Largometraje – Feature film

«El espíritu de la colmena» / The Spirit of the Beehive, Spain, 1973, 98′

«The Spirit of the Beehive is a haunting allegorical film on innocence and illusion, set in post-Civil War Spain. Ana and Isabel, two lonely young sisters, see the film Frankenstein at a makeshift theater. Ana, unsettled by the brutal acts of the monster and the townspeople in the film, desperately seeks explanation. Taking her to an abandoned barn, Isabel claims to see the immortal spirit of the monster in the well; Ana becomes obsessed with the idea of befriending it. The Spirit of the Beehive is a deceptively lyrical tale of idyllic childhood memories and a disturbing portrait of isolation.» (Source)

«El sur» / The South, Spain, 1983, 95′

A young girl comes of age amid the long silences and shadows of her family’s wintry northern exile in Erice’s long-awaited follow-up to The Spirit of the Beehive, which continues that work’s exploration of childhood fantasies and adult realities in a similarly hushed, becalmed tone. In the solitude of her parents’ northern home, a young daughter seeks the secrets that the south—and the past—hold. Politics, the Spanish Civil War, the breaking of family ties, or illicit loves: all seem possible in her father’s ever-growing sadness, and her mother’s deepening sighs. A Rembrandt painting come to life, El Sur is a work of muted colors and hushed tones, where a life worth living already seems to have come and gone. “A film of love and sorrow suffused with an appreciation of life’s beauty” (LA Times), El Sur tracks a nation’s and a generation’s divide. (Source)

«El sol del membrillo» / Dream of Light, Spain, 1992, 138′

Recently voted the number one film of the 1990s in an international poll of critics, Dream of Light is a truly magnificent work from Victor Erice, best known for his 1973 film The Spirit of the Beehive. Effortlessly transcending the documentary form, the film follows Madrileño painter Antonio López as he meticulously labors over a painting of a quince tree in his garden. Seeking to capture the effect of the sun’s rays shining through the tree’s leaves, López’s hope is to finish his painting before the fruit falls. Janet Maslin, of the New York Times, has called it “a thoughtful, delicate inquiry into the essence of the artistic process and a tribute to the beauty and mutability of nature.” (Source)

«Correspondencia: Víctor Erice-Abbas Kiarostami» / Víctor Erice-Abbas Kiarostami: Correspondences, Spain/Iran, 2005-07, 96′ (con/with Abbas Kiarostami)

Diez cartas cinematográficas intercambian el director de cine español Victor Erice y Abbas Kiarostami, el autor de cine iraní. Aunque se trata de cartas redactadas en formato video-digital, es el escrito en sí literalmente, tanto en caracteres españoles como persas y con pluma estilográfica, lo que se desea escenificar. Erice coloca en el primer plano de su carta visual a los niños: En un patio junto a un florido membrillo (como en la popular escena de su obra, El sol del membrillo) o en la escuela, donde aprenden y discuten con el maestro sobre la película de Kiarostami, ¿Donde está la casa de mi amigo?. Acto seguido responde Kiarostami y homenajea a Erice a través de un membrillo al que deja llevar por la corriente de un rio. En otras cartas muestra la piel de una vaca o gotas de lluvia sobre la luna de un coche. En suma, un intercambio poético por medio del cual, un autor cita la obra del otro – y parafrasea la propia. (Source)

Created for an innovative museum exhibition in Barcelona and Paris that paired the works of filmmakers Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami, Correspondences is composed of ten “filmed letters” between the two great masters. As in their other films, children, imagination, and the creative process take center stage; in one, the young grandchildren of the painter from Erice’s The Quince Tree Sun show off their own unique styles, while in another nine-year-olds in a rural Spanish classroom watch Kiarostami’s Where is the Friend’s Home? Kiarostami follows an “escaped quince” from the Spanish film to a neighborhood in Iran, and plays with artistic perspective in another. “Modern messages in a bottle” (Miguel Marias), these not-so-simple video letters recognize no international stamps or borders, only the artistic and personal links between individuals. (Source)

Cortometraje – Short

«En la terraza» (1961)
«Páginas de un diario» (1962)
«Los días perdidos» (1963)
«Entre vías» (1966)
«Los desafíos» – 3rd segment (1969)
«Preguntas al atardecer» – from Celebrate Cinema 101 (1995)
«Alumbramiento» / Lifeline (Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet), Spain, 2002, 11′
«La morte rouge» / The Red Death, Spain 2006, 32′
«Memoria en sueño» (2007)
«Ana, tres minutos» / Ana, Three Minutes (3:11 Sense of Home), Spain, 2011, 3′
«Cristales rotos» / Broken Windows, Portugal, 2012, 35′


A Postcard for Monte Hellman (2011)

⬅︎ Back to Víctor Erice’s Biography