Closing Your Eyes: Victor Erice's Winning Return (review)

Closing Your Eyes: Victor Erice’s Winning Return (review)

The very rare Spanish filmmaker of The Spirit of the Hive returns with an intimate epic coupled with a stimulating reflection on the power of cinema.

In apprehending this new film from the Spaniard Victor Erice, several things invariably bring us back to his classic, The Spirit of the Hive (1973), first because the filmmaker’s filmography does not have many appearances, then we find his interpreter, Ana Torrent, and finally, there is also a question of the magic powers of cinema. Recalls this sequence of The Spirit of the Hive where young Teresa invites her friend, Ana, to ” close eyes if she wants to meet the spirit of the monster of Frankenstein she has just discovered in the guise of Boris Karloff in the classic James Whale. ” The world of cinema is only special effects, the body is only a disguise “. Close eyes extends today this idea of ​​the vertigo of the senses, specific to cinematographic bewitchment (deception!). It is first the story of a shooting, a film within a film around a child to be found in the depths of Asia, then that of an actor who disappears, interrupting the creation at the same time. Ellipse. Two decades have passed. The mystery of this evaporation remains whole. However, the unfortunate director solicited by a TV show, agrees to dive back into his memories, to close his eyes to find the spirit of the absent. From there, Erice weaves a film about memory, the permanence of things, and the absolute desire to fix images whose power does not depend on their mere presence but on an arrangement within a mysterious continuum. Dizzy.

By Victor Erice. With Manolo Solo, José Coronado, Ana Torrent… Duration: 2h49. Released August 16, 2023

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