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An Open Window: Víctor Erice

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
7:00 p.m. The Quince Tree Sun
Víctor Erice (Spain, 1992)

In Conversation/Víctor Erice and Richard Peña
Archival Print!
International Critics’ Prize, 1992 Cannes Film Festival

(El sol del membrillo, aka Dream of Light, Quince Tree of the Sun). The Quince Tree Sun is an exquisite, lingering portrait of the Spanish realist painter Antonio López García as he paints a single work: a picture of a quince tree in his backyard, which he planted years ago and which now stimulates thoughts on light, painting, and process; on death; on what we know of the world and how we know it. Erice's film is itself a "painting from life," taking in López's conversations with friends and his quiet musings, his paintings of Madrid, and the director's own images of this sumptuous city. "Erice's method is modest, yet his film manages to achieve a mesmerizing intensity. The purity and breadth of this meticulous study are all the more gratifying in view of its unprepossessing style . . . It becomes a thoughtful, delicate inquiry into the essence of the artistic process, and a tribute to the beauty and mutability of nature. Erice's film is . . . like its subject, one of a kind" (Janet Maslin, New York Times).

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Erice, Antonio López. Photographed by Javier Aguirresarobe. With Antonio López, María Moreno, Enrique Gran, Jos. Carretero. (138 mins, In Spanish with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Filmoteca Española, permission Rosebud Films)