(El espíritu de la colmena)

97 minutes

Dir: Victor Erice

Producer: Elias Querejeta

Cinematography: Luis Cuadrado

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If ever you suffer from Nietzche nihilism and believe that we’re all born to die alone and detached, ‘The Spirit Of The Beehive’ is perhaps the most beautiful film committed to celluloid. It’s a film that gets more beautiful with each viewing, the dulcet tones brought to life by a cinematographer slowly going blind who would end up committing suicide.

The Spirit of The Beehive is a thematically driven film that explores what happens to a childhood when subjected to extreme isolation. The family unit is distanced, disinterested and emotionally apathetic. Any warmth and happiness is driven underground by events of the Spanish Civil War.

Exploring many of the same themes as Pan’s Labyrinth but with more brutality and less empathy, The Spirit of The Beehive shows a child’s imagination trying to come to grips with a desolate landscape and those who live within it being but ciphers.

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Tips to enjoy The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973)

-If you haven’t seen it already, Pan’s Labyrinth has a fairly similar plot and is also set in The Spanish Civil War. It instead looks at themes of imagination and escapism instead of isolationism and nothingness. Well worth a watch if you haven’t seen already.

-See James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) to get a better feel of the themes explored by Ana after she watches it. Also, it’ll help start your conversation, about whether or not the monster is real…

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Other Trivia and Info on Sunrise:

-There is not a single shot of the whole family together – adding to the distance and separation of the family unit.

-Jonathan Pryce’s favourite film.

Can’t find it? buy it here.

Wikipedia entry

IMDB entry

IMDB Trivia page

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