The director of The Spirit of the Beehive, Víctor Erice, will direct his first feature film in 30 years | Film

Veteran Spanish director Víctor Erice, best known for the 1973 classic The Spirit of the Hive, is shooting his first feature film in 30 years, we have learned.

El Diario reports that the new project, titled Cerrar los Ojos (Close your eyes), is funded by Canal Sur, the public broadcaster for the Andalusian region in Spain. No information has been leaked as to its contents, except that José Coronado and María León have been cast in the lead roles, and it is set to be released in 2023.

Erice has only directed three feature films in his 50-year directing career. The Spirit of the Beehive, described by The Guardian’s Derek Malcolm as “one of the most beautiful and gripping films ever made”, tells the story of an eight-year-old girl who finds a wounded Republican fighter hiding in a shed. the Franco regime still controlled the country. El Sur (The South) followed in 1983 and starred Icíar Bollaín (now herself an award-winning director) as a girl whose family lives in exile in northern Spain after the Civil War. The Quince Tree Sun, released in 1992, follows artist Antonio López García’s painstaking efforts to paint a quince and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Erice, now 82, has not been idle since then, however. He contributed a segment to the 2002 collection of shorts Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (alongside directors such as Chen Kaige, Werner Herzog and Jim Jarmusch), filmed his “letters” to Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami in the 2007 installation Víctor Erice–Abbas Kiarostami: Correspondences and contributed to the 2012 omnibus film Centro Historico. El Diario reports that Erice also spent years working on an adaptation of Juan Marsé’s 1993 novel The Shanghai Spell, which sank. The novel was filmed by Fernando Trueba and released in 2002.

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