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The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena) Reviews

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Emanuel Levy

Lyrical and magestic, Erice's film is one of the most compelling fables about haunted childhood.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

January 18, 2013
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A most exceptional vision of the inner life of a child just learning about the darker complexities of life.

Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy | Original Score: 10/10

October 6, 2008
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Considered by many as one of the key Spanish films of the Seventies.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A

May 7, 2007
Mark Bourne

...a graceful, lyrical masterpiece wound around one of the most natural and engrossing performances by a child actor we've ever seen.

Full Review Source:

September 17, 2006

TV Guide's Movie Guide

A haunting, atmospheric film that focuses on a young girl's obsession with the Frankenstein monster.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/4

August 30, 2006
Keith Breese

filmmaking art of the highest caliber.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

July 23, 2006
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a film that transports us back not just to the sights and sounds of childhood but to a core of sweet innocence and sometimes ignorant bliss.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

July 6, 2006
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Erice meant his film as a sly social commentary, but his opinions are so well enveloped in the film's dreamy coming-of-age tapestry that moviegoers worldwide (especially younger ones) have embraced it.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 8, 2006
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 26, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Those who haven't seen it since the '70s may find themselves amazed all over again by its lyrical potency and grace; those who have never seen it may wonder how it can be that a film this great isn't shown somewhere all the time.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

March 31, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Screening in a new print so pristine you forget that this film is 33 years old, Spirit of the Beehive sweeps you into its quiet world.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 4/4

March 24, 2006
Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Ana's fearful, credulous eyes are as wide as the flat Castilian horizon, striated by clouds and railroad tracks, which reach beyond the known world.

Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You

March 24, 2006
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.

| Original Score: 5/5

January 26, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Ana Torrent gives perhaps the greatest child performance of all time.

January 26, 2006
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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... the finest and most beautifully wrought first film of the European '70s, a mysterious crucible as elusive, concrete, and visually primal as anything by Herzog, Straub, Olmi, or Denis.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 25, 2006
Dan Callahan
Slant Magazine

Every magic hour, light-drenched image in Victor Erice's Spirit of the Beehive is filled with mysterious dread.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

January 23, 2006
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 5/5

July 3, 2005
Tom Dawson

Expressively played by its two young leads, it's a work which memorably captures a child's perspective on the mysteries of everyday life.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

September 17, 2003
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
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Much in the film is derivative, but Erice excels in precise evocations of childhood feelings -- there is one dumbfounding moment of lyrical, joyful horror.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 1, 2000

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March 26, 2009
Jason Ferguson
Orlando Weekly
October 19, 2006
Derek Adams
Time Out
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February 9, 2006

October 1, 2003
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