97 Great Directors: Victor Erice

“There is already fiction in the glance.”


What Got This Director Here?
: All three of his films.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: See below.

What Did I Watch: Rewatched Quince Tree Sun since I didn’t quite get it originally, then saw El Sur.

Where Does He Fit: My second viewing of The Quince Tree Sun was much more productive than the first and left me slightly baffled as to why the film is so hard to get a hold of within the United States. I suppose Americans cannot really handle slow documentaries about art that might be fake and focus on the nature of time passing in calm, hypnotic strokes painted by Erice and the man who he is depicting. Glad I gave this odd little piece a second look so that I could fully appreciate it and look forward to his two more acclaimed fiction works.

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With El Sur, Victor Erice scored a major casting coup in the form of Omero Antonutti, who has precisely the sort of appearance that suggests “warm father with a mysterious personality rooted in oddball experiments.” Without him, this movie would be nothing but shots of people hanging around a strange portion of the country, mystified by secrets that will sadly never be explored thanks to the director’s original vision getting cut short. It’s a New Leaf situation where what we have is clearly fantastic even as the cuts are mangling the vision just a touch. At least this ends as a self contained vision.

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Most Valuable Asset: Slow painterly shots.
Most Excited For: Spirit of the Beehive.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Horror and noir leader Jacques Tourneur.

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