Update: El Pais has shared the first details of the film, which will take a meta approach as we follow a director living in retirement and now enjoying a life of fishing. He left a film in the 1990s unfinished after his star (also a friend from the military) disappeared. A television program investigating his disappearance causes the director to reunite with his former collaborators, leading to an “emotional earthquake.”

Update #2: Filming is now underway and nearly complete, with a 2023 release in Spain confirmed, Variety reports.

There are not many directors who have amassed such a rich contribution to the world of cinema amongst so few films as Víctor Erice. The 82-year-old Spanish director broke out with 1973’s The Spirit of the Beehive, followed by El Sur in 1983 and The Quince Tree Sun in 1992. Now, he’s finally set to return with his first feature in over thirty years.

As revealed by El Diario, Erice is preparing to shoot a new film titled Cerrar los ojos (roughly translated To Close One’s Eyes). Backed by Canal Sur, Pecado Films, Tandem Films, and Nautilus, not much is known about the project yet, though actors José Coronado and María León are attached. For many years, Erice attempted to mount an adaptation of El embrujo de Shanghai, which ended up getting made by Fernando Trueba in 2002.

With major admirers, including the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Pedro Almodóvar, Miguel Gomes, José Luis Torres Leiva, the late Monte Hellman, and more, Erice’s work has been a key influence on a number of directors. While he’s stayed busy in the years since his last feature with shorts and other projects, it’s wonderful news that he’s preparing a new film.

As we await more details, watch a Locarno conversation with the director and a Sight & Sound video essay on his work.

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