The Spirit of the Beehive

Director: Victor Erice

spain • 1973 • subtitled colour • 98 mins

As a tribute to the great Spanish actor Fernando Fernan Gomez, who died last November, we’re screening The Spirit of the Beehive, the classic he made with director Victor Erice in 1973. Fernan Gomez plays the ghostly father of two young sisters, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), whose lives are transformed when they see James Whale’s Frankenstein in the local village cinema. Ana in particular becomes obsessed with the figure of Boris Karloff’s lumbering monster, who has a memorable encounter with a little girl in Whale’s film. Isabel says that the spirit of the monster lives in an empty outhouse near the village, and Ana is transfixed when she discovers a Republican soldier (the film is set in 1940) hiding in this very place. In collaboration with cinematographer Luis Cuadrado, Erice produces images every bit as painterly as Terrence Malick’s and as austere as Carl Dreyer’s. He shows us the world as a sensitive child might see it, full of possibility, rapture and danger.

Book Tickets