The Spirit Of The Beehive

Here's another childhood-related movie I've been wanting to see: The Spirit Of The Beehive from 1973. I finally rented it it from Reckless, and I don't think I'll ever forget it. Though the film does ultimately follow the imaginative world of children, it also concerns the adults: the girls' parents, whose stories are introduced first. While the parents' storylines are less developed (intentionally, I suspect, limited to a sort of symbolism), in fact the theme of the imagination being stirred by trauma is mirrored in the case of each of the characters (which may have been obliquely political). One of many things that struck me is how the film's intensity and persistently mysterious, allegorical atmoshere are achieved through simple means: music sometimes, but often silence, and moments of sun-baked (or wind-swept) absorbtion. The cinematography is arresting, and time is given to observe, lending meaning to the sparse landscape. As for the music itself, it is simple and childlike (though in 7/8 it seems), giving the wonder-filled effect of a Paul Klee minature, in keeping with the wide-eyed expression of the little girl Ana. It's a kind of filmmaking I can't imagine being done today.

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