El Sol del membrillo (Dream of Light) (Quince Tree of the Sun) (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

El Sol del membrillo (Dream of Light) (Quince Tree of the Sun) (2000)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A film about the artistic process in every sense of the phrase, Spanish director Victor Erice's El Sol del Mebrillo (The Quince Tree Sun) loosely documents the efforts of artist Antonio Lopez to paint the titular foliage in his backyard. Lopez agonizes over just how to capture the light falling on the tree's leaves; he aspires to complete the painting before the fruit falls at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the artist is distracted by unannounced visitors, the debate over the Gulf War, and the filmmaker himself. Sol begins in documentary form, with voiceover narration from Lopez himself, then slowly takes on other qualities: slightly staged narrative storytelling; hypnotic, dream-like nature film; and philosophical meditation on art and mortality. Barely released in the U.S., the film nonetheless made it onto many stateside critics' "Best of the 1990s" lists, and won the International Critics' Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. Erice's previous efforts include two hallmarks of Spanish cinema, 1973's The Spirit of the Beehive and 1983's Sur. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi
Documentary , Drama
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Critic Reviews for El Sol del membrillo (Dream of Light) (Quince Tree of the Sun)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

In its own minimalist way it becomes a thoughtful, delicate inquiry into the essence of the artistic process, and a tribute to the beauty and mutability of nature. Mr. Erice's film is much bigger than it may appear to be.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

More analytical than contemplative, never less than straightforward, Dream of Light makes no showy bid for the sublime.

April 18, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

The Cinematheque Ontario's international panel voted it the best film of the 1990s, which can only lead me to question what they were smoking at the time.

Full Review… | March 9, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Any summary of Spanish director Victor Erice's captivating documentary would sound more like a warning than the enthusiastic recommendation it merits.

July 30, 2003
TV Guide

A beguiling Spanish film about the creative process and the transitoriness of the natural world.

Full Review… | August 21, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

The very act of creation speaks for itself in this amazing portrait of middle-age Spanish artist Antonio Lopez.

April 18, 2002
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for El Sol del membrillo (Dream of Light) (Quince Tree of the Sun)

[center][font=Times New Roman][size=4][img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3mCOm4wxK3M/SV_dhVEGwcI/AAAAAAAABhM/Qbk7Bx5NvXg/s400/dream.jpg[/img][/size][/font][/center] [font=Times New Roman][size=4][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=4]Summary (from IMDB): The artist, Antonio Lopez, tries to paint the quince tree he planted some time back in his garden. Throughout his life, he has worked on the same theme many times, almost as if it were a physical necessity. Every year, with the arrival of autumn, this need resurfaces. The artist's work has never represented the sun's rays between the leaves of the tree, and, given his characteristic realist style, he tries to achieve this.[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=4][/size][/font] [center][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_3mCOm4wxK3M/SV_dcIV-QgI/AAAAAAAABhE/aR9_JeGriws/s400/dream2.jpg[/img][/center] [font=Times New Roman][size=4][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=4]The Dream of Light is definitely the weakest I've seen from Erice, but it's still a solid movie. Really, the first half of the film is very good. Had it been a 90 minute film that ended right as he (spoiler) [color=black]put his initial painting on the shelf[/color] I would have given this a much higher score. The process of the artist preparing and the obstacles he runs into were all very interesting and filmed in a beautiful and poetic fashion. Unfortunately, watching this for over two hours became a bit much. I almost felt like watching it in fast-forward for the last 20 minutes.[/size][/font]

Chris Weseloh
Chris Weseloh

An unusual and fascinating film. A semi-documentary about artist Antonio Lopez and his quest to a paint a quince tree in his backyard. Lopez's techniques are startlingly rigid: he pounds stakes into the ground so that his feet are always planted in the same spot, he makes marks on the tree to record the changing position of a leaf or fruit and adjusts his work accordingly, he painstakingly measures and re-measures in his attempts to be precise. His family and associates patiently and good-naturedly tolerate this obsessive attention to precision. But Lopez's enemy is time and chaos. The marks he makes on the tree multiply as the fruit continues to grow heavier, and the changing weather means the light is unreliable. Eventually defeated by his inability to capture the same sunlight every time, he abandons the painting he's been working on for weeks, and starts it all over as a sketch instead. But he never appears frustrated about it, for him the joy is being with his tree, not the end product. Along the way are several discussions about his work and art in general, especially interesting are the ones with his old art school chum. What struck me most is how the art of the film is contrasted with Lopez's art. Film is made to capture time, and Erice frequently reminds us of that with meaningful fades and edits, and the radio which chronicles developing world events. Another interesting contrast is provided by the three Polish workers who are doing some renovations to the house. Their art (and their ideas about quinces) is more pragmatic, but no less valid. Although the movie requires some patience, it gives you a lot to think about. It's a shame Erice hasn't done more... a mere three features over the past 37 years, but all of them of fine quality.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

The complacent portrait of Lopez dwells in the silence and state of fine art retaining the elaborate "auteur" detail which makes Erice's study of conversation,nature,intoxicating feeling such a beloved textbook on time's benefits.Perhaps the simple stuff and as naive as it sounds,just watch those two old men reiterating the past,their affections and the still images of youth.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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