Cinematography: The Spirit of the Beehive

THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (1973)
Director: Victor Erice
Cinematographer: Luis Cuadrado

Cuadrado was already going blind during The Spirit of the Beehive‘s production. Cuadrado, along with Nestor Almendros, is considered to be one of the greatest Spanish cinematographers who astounded audiences around the world with their breathtaking visions. Both Cuadrado and Almendros went blind later in their careers. Both also died under tragic circumstances; Almendros succumbed to AIDS, and Cuadrado committed suicide. But their works will continue to inspire audiences and filmmakers alike.

Cuadrado’s work for The Spirit of the Beehive is one of his best. Victor Erice’s film tells the story of a dreamy seven year-old girl who wanders into her own fantasy world after watching Frankenstein. I’ve always thought that The Spirit of the Beehive somehow inspired Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

The Spirit of the Beehive is one of the most astonishing films I’ve ever seen; thanks to Erice’s flawless storytelling, Ana Torrent’s raw but engaging performance, and Cuadrado’s splendid photography.


Wow. Just wow.

The color distribution and the composition are perfect.
These shots almost look like paintings.

Haunting dark shots.

Dreamy.


I love how this shot accentuates Ana’s soulful big brown eyes.

Cuadrado managed to exude symmetry in most of his shots.

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