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The Spirit of the Beehive

The Spirit of the Beehive(1973)

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  • spirit of the beehive

    • kevin sellers
    • 10/25/14

    Disturbing look at the terrors of childhood juxtaposed with the terror and bleakness of Francoist Spain. Kinda reminds me of a Terence Mallick film, both for good and bad reasons. The good includes stunning cinematography. Never has desolation looked more beautiful. Also admirable is the performance of the little girl who plays Ana. Victor Erice is to be commended for pulling such haunting, fearful, heartbreaking stuff from what looks like a nine year old. The not so good is a slowness and heaviness that is all pervasive. It's like the characters are underwater, which I guess metaphorically they are. And, as you often get with Mallick, there is not a drop of humor anywhere to make this emptiness easier to absorb. Let's give it a B plus.

  • A Plot Might Have Helped

    • disinterested spectator
    • 9/6/14

    Let's see now. We have a beekeeper; his wife, who writes a letter to someone at the beginning of the movie and gets one back at the end, which she burns; their two daughters, who watch "Frankenstein," mushrooms, some of which are poisonous; lessons at school; a cat; an empty house; a fugitive; and some other stuff. And I guess it's up to me to figure out what it all means. But I'm not going to, because I don't care.

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    • Dashiell B.
    • 1/8/13

    Considered to be the best Spanish film of the '70's, made during the end of Franco's reign. Torrent is a little girl haunted by the memory of seeing "Frankenstein." The characters are isolated & dream of something more, but are disappointed by reality; director Erice touches on many themes without congealing to a specific genre. The story drags, but is unforgettable & haunting. I give it a 4/5.

  • Spirit of the Beehive

    • Sue
    • 6/2/10

    A very unusual and extraordinary movie that chooses to focus on a sensitive child's experiences in the midst of a distant and rather disturbing family. The pacing is much like that of Tarkovsky or Angelopoulos and, revelation of revelations, the music is just as sensitive and 'right' as the subject matter. Ana Torrent gives an utterly natural and resonant performance, and I have to say that one of my favourite scenes involves the two little sisters whispering together in their twin beds about the movie "Frankenstein". It is a very special scene ... pitch-perfect and taking me right back to the long-ago nighttime debriefing sessions with my sister, as we tried to grasp the wonders and horrors of the world. Definitely worth repeated viewings!

  • Haunting Spanish film

    • Tracey
    • 9/15/08

    I caught this film while channel-surfing on a sleepless night and couldn't look away. A bit slow, but still totally engrossing, even with subtitles. The viewer follows Ana's daily (and nocturnal) wanderings, not fully knowing whether these are based in reality or the dream-state of a child. Ana's sadomasochistic older sister, Isabel, was one of the most disturbing child characters I've seen; in the same class as the kids in "Children of the Corn" and "The Shining." It's always uncomfortable for adults when children lose their innocent facades and take on a seemingly adult manipulative demeanor. There is not much dialogue as the breathtaking cinematography plays an essential role in this film.

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    • Dan
    • 5/7/07

    A strange but, intriguing little import from Spain. This film is a disturbing cinematic study of a lonely girl who enters the world of fantasy after watching the 1931 horror "Frankenstein" and envisions the monster as someone very close to her heart. This is one of the most haunting films ever made about children. Not much dialog in it but, the stunning visuals and cinematography makes it worth while. I was impressed by the young girl Ana Torrent with her mesmerizing performance and good Directing. This movie is like a dream. As you view it you drift through this fantasy of hers with this uneasy feeling in it's conclusion. this is one of the most original films I've ever seen. Thanks TCM for playing this one.

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