Cinema Releases - Close Your Eyes
After his masterpieces ‘The Spirit of the Beehive’ and ‘El Sur’, and 30 years after his Cannes prize-winning ‘The Quince Tree Sun’, legendary filmmaker Víctor Erice comes back with CLOSE YOUR EYES, a compelling reflection about identity, memory, and filmmaking. Starring Manolo Solo and José Coronado, CLOSE YOUR EYES also reunites Erice with Ana Torrent 50 years after The Spirit of the Beehive.
Considered by many as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Erice is back to mesmerize audiences with his fourth feauture film.
Cannes Film Festival, New York Film Festival 2023
BFI LFF premiere: 14 Oct, 9:45 - 22:24, Curzon Mayfair (Q&A before the film)
15 Oct , 9:45 - 22:24, NFT3
Víctor Erice studied in Madrid, at the Official School of Cinematography (EOC), graduating in Direction in 1963. For a time, he worked as a scriptwriter; later, as a director of advertising films and in 1969 he made his debut as a professional director filming one of the three episodes of The Challenges (Los Desafíos) which was presented at the San Sebastián Film Festival.
His debut feature, The Spirit of the Beehive, won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 1973. His second feature film, El Sur, was presented in the Official Selection at Cannes in 1983. In 1992 he returned to Cannes competition with The Quince Tree Sun (El Sol del Membrillo), which was awarded the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI award.
In 1996 he participated in the collective feature film Celebrate Cinema 101 with a short film “Questions at Sunset”. Some years later, in 2002, Erice contributed again to another portmanteau film Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet, with the episode “Lifeline” (Alumbramiento).
In 2006, together with the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, he made an installation, Erice-Kiarostami: Correspondences that was exhibited in Barcelona (CCCB), Madrid (Casa Encendida), Paris (Centre Pompidou) and Melbourne. (ACMI). The installation included an audiovisual correspondence between the two directors, and the medium-length film La Morte Rouge.
During the following years, he participated in different audio-visual projects and video installations: about the painter Antonio López; Fragor del Mundo, Silencio de la Pintura, and about the sculptor Jorge Oteiza; Piedra y Cielo, for the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
In 2012, in Portugal, he made the medium-length film Vidros Partidos, which is part of a film celebrating the town of Guimarães, Centro Histórico, together with Manoel de Oliveira, Pedro Costa and Aki Kaurismäki.
In 1993, Erice received the National Cinematography Award, and in 1995 the Gold Medal for merit in Fine Arts. More recently, in 2014, the Locarno Festival distinguished him with the Leopard of Honour dedicated to his entire career as a filmmaker.
Now he has returned with Close Your Eyes, his fourth feature film after a 30 year gap, which had its world premiere in Official Selection at Cannes, in the Cannes Premiere section.
1973 THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (El Espíritu de la Colmena)
San Sebastian International Film Festival – Golden Shell Award
1983 THE SOUTH (El Sur)
Cannes Film Festival Competition
Chicago International Film Festival – Gold Hugo Award
1992 THE QUINCE TREE SUN (El Sol del Membrillo)
Cannes Film Festival – Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize
2023 CLOSE YOUR EYES (Cerrar los Ojos)
Cannes Film Festival
TV Series and Shorts:
1969 THE CHALLENGES (Los Desafíos) Drama series
2002 LIFELINE (Alumbramiento), short within Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
2006 LA MORTE ROUGE, short made for Erice-Kiarostami: Correspondences
2011 ANA, THREE MINUTES, short within 3.11 Sense of Home
2012 BROKEN WINDOWS (Vidros Partidos), short within Historic Centre (Centro Histórico)
|Manolo Solo||Miguel Garay|
|José Coronado||Julio Arenas / Gardel|
|Ana Torrent||Ana Arenas|
|Petra Martínez||Sister Consuelo|
|Mario Pardo||Max Roca|
|Helena Miquel||Marta Soriano|
|Antonio Dechent||Tico Mayoral|
|With the special collaboration of:|
|José Maria Pou as||Ferrán Soler (Mr.Levy)|
|Soledad Villamil as||Lola San Román|
|Juan Margallo as||Doctor Benavides|
|Introducing Venice Franco in the role of||Qiao Shu|
|Script||Víctor Erice, Michel Gaztambide|
|Executive Producer||Cristina Zumárraga|
|Producers||Cristina Zumárraga, Pablo E.Bossi, Víctor Erice|
|Jose Alba, Odile Antonio-Baez, Agustín Bossi,|
|Pol Bossi, Maximiliano Lasansky|
|Director of Photography||Valentín Álvarez (AEC)|
|Editor||Ascen Marchena (AMAE)|
|Original Score||Federico Jusid|
|Sound Director||Iván Marín|
|Sound Design||Juan Ferro|
|Sound Mixing||Candela Palencia|
|Production Director||María José Díez Alvarez|
|Art Director||Curru Garabal|
|Costume Designer||Helena Sanchis|
|Makeup and Hairdressing Director||Beatushka Wojtowicz|
|A production by||Tandem Films, Nautilus Films, Pecado Films,|
|La mirada del adiós A.I.E|
|In coproduction with||Pampa Films|
|With the participation of||RTVE, MOVISTAR PLUS+, VODAFONE, CANAL SUR,|
|EiTB and TELEMADRID|
|With the support of||ICAA, Junta de Andalucía, INCAA,|
|Comunidad de Madrid and Diputación de Granada|
|This film was shot in various locations in Granada, Almería, Madrid,|
|Alcalá de Henares, Segovia and Asturias|
|2023 Spain / Argentina|
|Scope / Dolby Digital 5.1 / 169 mins|
'It was at this point, during this nearly three-hour film’s drift between the plottier first third and the burgeoning catharsis of the final third, that I realized I was hooked and would follow Miguel anywhere. It had also become clear by then that Erice, now in his eighties, had forgone any attempt to revive the painterly splendor and crypto-minimalist narratives of his early films, and, working with co-scenarist Michel Gaztambide, had instead embraced a seductively meandering, novelistic approach to cinematic storytelling entirely new to his oeuvre. Close Your Eyes is a heartfelt homage to cinema’s singular relationship to memory, but it is also Erice’s most literary film: if Miguel’s The Farewell Gaze seems to resemble a Jorge Luis Borges story, the framing film, with its emphasis on disappearances, stories within stories, and amnesia, echoes the novels of Paul Auster…
Most poignantly, Close Your Eyes ends where The Spirit of the Beehive begins, with a cinema screen becoming not only a mnemonic device, but also a site of psychic transformation.'
Jose Teodoro, Film Comment
"A great director retuns after 31 years..Víctor Erice has made only three features in a 50-plus-year career. These happen to be three of the greatest films ever made.
A stirring tale about memory, identity, and friendship, it feels deeply, almost alarmingly personal. The film proceeds in stylistically distinct movements...tantalizing images...
Close Your Eyes is about cinema, too, though not in the way that we've become used to in recent years: it's not a love letter or a poison-pen missive, but rather an exploration of cinema as memory and of the relative vallue of that memory."
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture magazine
"A touching and methodical exploration of memory, longing and cinema. There aren't many directors who have such delicate control and grasp on the craft, with only three feature films that are all classics.
A powerful movie that makes us reflect on our lives and the essence of memory. There's a mixture of optimism and foreboding for the future...in this beautiful picture.
...reflects on various topics, ranging from art and the love of the craft to the intertwining between love and loss. Miguel and company look back at their relevance in this world through a big screen...it is art and cinema that pick them back up. Most of us have felt such feelings and relied on cinema to brighten up our gray-coloured days."
Hector A. Gonzalez, Loud and Clear
'A slow-burn marvel which climaxes in a sequence of overhelming profundity and mystery. What begins as an apparantly modest, small-scale drama, ends in a moment of ethereal beauty, for both characters and viewers. Erice still has the courage and the conviction to stage a miracle similar to the one which still set jaws-dropping in (Carl Dreyer's) 1956's Ordet. Only this time, it's not evanescent forces of spiritual fervour that are able to bring a man back to life - its cinema.'
David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"An Aching Ode to Film, Time and Memory...This exquisite, unhurried exercise in melancholy will mean most to existing fans of the Spanish master, but it's moving enough to make some new ones. A story itself of disapperance and reemergence, and the potential of cinema to bridge past and present as if decades were days it's potent and poignant enough to reach newomers to Erice's work, even as fans pore over its self-reflective details.
Guy Lodge, Variety
'There is something deeply civilised and gentle about this film.
A mysterious, digressve, long and baggily constructed film possessed of a distinctive richness and humanity, all about the balance between memory and forgetting which we all negotiate as we come to the end of our lives. And it is also about cinema, which helps to promote memory and retrieve that which has vanished, even as it is itself in danger of being forgotten.'
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"At a disinterred cinema, light and shadow plays over rapt faces in the dark, in Erice's love letter to all he knows."
Nick Hasted, The Arts Desk
"A gently shattering tribute to the magic of film...It capture the essence of his whole career...
In some respects it feels like the most nakedly personal film the now 83-year-old has ever made. In others, it feels like the only film he's ever made. Or maybe all of them.'
David Erlich IndiWire