Erice is one of those directors that very little is known about them. He made three movies only, one of them is a documentary. The other two are "The Spirit of The Beehive" and "The South". Only Beehive (Erice's very first long-feature work) is available in the US (thanks to Criterion) and it is a superb work.
In one line, it's about Anna: a little girl who lives a traumatizing experience. But the film is an excellent study of childhood via Anna and her sister Isabel, one of the best I've seen. Adding to this is the superb (painting-like) cinematography and the visual settings that Erice used in the movie.
The cinematography was done by Luis Cuadrado who started to suffer from a blinding illness during the shooting of beehive, he ended up with total blindness a few years later.
I hope the movie will play one of these days on a big screen in NYC so I can watch it the way it is supposed to be watched. His other work (South) is supposedly a masterpiece too, Criterion should consider acquiring it, meanwhile I will not pay $100+ to get it from France or Spain.
The movie is available on Youtube (though not the way it should be watched), I re-watched it tonight on Hulu (on a big-screen TV).
Links for the DVD extra (Criterion) and the movie itself: