Bobby Sheridan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Note: I could wax poetic about this movie until it became the ramblings of a madman so I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, and avoid pretending to know exactly what I’m talking about.
Decided to start off my fall movie slate with this one, a movie that literally opens with the movie Frankenstein being delivered by truck to a small village. The reels are presented as this mythical object, and isn’t that what movies are? Movies can be magic, they can possess us in deep ways we may not understand, grab hold of us, changing who we are.
Watching the children watch Frankenstein for the first time is honestly more entertaining than most movies, it harkens back to the famous scene from The 400 Blows, but here it is much more drawn out. We see the movie effect these people in different ways just through their expressions, everything that happens in this movie is reflected in Ana’s giant brown eyes.
When I first watched this 4 years ago I fell asleep for a good half hour (big reason I’m revisiting), I remember waking up during the scene where the children are jumping through the fire, and feeling like I had entered someone else’s dream. That’s cinema! Life is a mystery! Death is the only thing that is certain! These fictional stories we tell may one day become reality! And so on and so forth
I do hope Criterion releases a 4K restoration of this soon, it’s too staggeringly beautiful to not be presented at it’s full potential.
All that being said, The Spirit of the Beehive is ineffable. An anomaly we are lucky to have.