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The Quince Tree Sun (1992)
"El sol del membrillo" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 996 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 13 user | 17 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

The artist, Antonio Lopez, tries to paint the quince tree he planted some time back in his garden. Throughout his life, he has worked on the same theme many times, almost as if it were a ... See full summary »

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Title: The Quince Tree Sun (1992)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio López ...
Himself
Marina Moreno
Enrique Gran
María López
Carmen López
Elisa Ruiz
José Carretero
Amalia Aria
Lucio Muñoz
Esperanza Parada
Julio López Hernández
Fan Xiao Ming
Yan Sheng Dong
Janusz Pietrzkiak
Marek Domagala
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Storyline

The artist, Antonio Lopez, tries to paint the quince tree he planted some time back in his garden. Throughout his life, he has worked on the same theme many times, almost as if it were a physical necessity. Every year, with the arrival of autumn, this need resurfaces. The artist's work has never represented the sun's rays between the leaves of the tree, and, given his characteristic realist style, he tries to achieve this. But he goes about it in the same way, without consciously pursuing a finished picture - he just wants to be close to the fragile lavish tree for a few weeks. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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agriculture | art | painting | painter


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Release Date:

2 April 1993 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Dream of Light  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Air Doll (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Definition of Banality
10 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Victor Erice's El Sol Del Membrillo is without a doubt one of the most mind-numbingly arid films I've had the displeasure of experiencing. It seemed to be created with one purpose in mind: to make art so completely monotonous that it sucks every last trace of enjoyment out of it and discourages anyone who watches it from ever considering art as either a profession or a hobby.

To be honest, I was at first intrigued. Antonio López went about the familiar task of assembling a frame and stretching a canvas during the opening credits. My mind was open and cynicism was not my objective. López continued about his business setting up his canvas and location to paint. My interest was still relatively high as he set up a plumb-bob and started graphing lines onto his canvas...it began to seem more as though he was getting ready to graph a geometry problem than create a painting. Finally, after installing foot place-markers and marking the places of all the leaves and pieces of fruit with paint he was finished setting up his scene and was ready to begin painting. I chalked these idiosyncrasies up to the fact that all artists have quirks.

My mind was still open and I was ready to see what this man could produce. About a month later in the documentary (and a seemingly endless amount of time in reality) he had created an incomplete painting, which he decided to give up on. He then decided to use the same scene to create a drawing. Another month later, upon reaching a similar level of incompletion this too was shelved and he decided to turn to filming the rotting fruit that had fallen from the tree onto the ground. This was probably his most successful endeavor, although I'm assuming that watching the footage of the fruit might possibly be even more innocuous than the documentary itself, but not by a very great margin. The fruit eventually rotted, but not before my brain began to chew its way through my skull.

Altogether López made art seem more like a rigid set of imperialistic rules than about expression, escapism or even (gasp!) enjoyment. As soon as his subject lost data (the sun no longer being in the right position, or a piece of fruit falling from the tree or shifting position) he would alter the painting to record this new set of data. This made no sense at all, because if he were, by some miracle, able to "finish" his painting, it would continue to lose data and therefore his painting would technically have to be updated. He could have literally spent the rest of his life painting the same fruit tree.

If art is simply about recording every minute detail of reality, why should one bother at all? If you end up with a painting of a fruit tree that looks identical to the one standing in your yard, why bother painting it? You might as well walk outside and see the real thing.

As far as I see it, I've lost a little more than two hours of my life that I will never be able to regain. For this I blame Victor Erice.


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