Spain, Argentina


CLOSE YOUR EYES turns on a famous Spanish actor, Julio Arenas, who disappears while filming a movie. Although his body is never found, the police conclude that he has suffered an accident at a cliff by the sea. Many years later, the mystery is brought up once more by a TV program that tries to evoke the actor, offering as a scoop images of the last scenes in which he participated, shot by his close friend, director Miguel Garay.

Director's Statement

What film do I want to make and why? In an effort to be brief and precise, my answer is as follows: the one that naturally blossoms from the script I’ve written; and out of pure and simple necessity. However, I get the feeling that this answer won’t be enough and so I’m going to try and explain something of what Close Your Eyes might entail, although I well understand that to do this, I will have to delve into the terrain of the conceptual. Nonetheless, I shall lay out my declaration of intentions, which are of course good, even though it is well known that the path to hell is often paved with good intentions.
My impression is that, beyond the details of its plot, the story the film wants to portray to the audience revolves around two, intimately connected themes: identity and memory. The memory of two friends, who, once upon a time, were an actor and a movie director. Over time, one has lost his memory completely, to the point that he doesn’t know who he is, or who he was; the other is doing his best to forget, but despite hiding himself away, he finds that the past and its pain still haunt him.
Memory, also contained in the archives of television, a medium that represents like no other the contemporary urge to turn the human experience into a tangible record.
Memory, in short, of the cinematographer: copies safe-guarded in tin coffins, far from the movie theatres that saw them come to life, ghosts of a unique story, socially usurped by the Audiovisual. Memory, now long, like the one of the persons writing these lines.
The tale that incorporates all these traits comes half from lived experience and half from imagination. As I have worked on the scripts for all my films, it is only natural to assume that the themes they deal with have to do with my most intimate concerns and interests.
in life, those that belong to the art of poetry, where the experience of watching a movie, and I cannot insist on this enough, becomes a protagonist in its own right.
In this sense, in Close Your Eyes, two different styles of cinema come together: firstly, there is the classic style, with its illusionist norms in terms of atmosphere and characters, and secondly, there is the modern style, which is impregnated with reality. Or, to put it another way, there are two types of stories: one which emerges from the shelter of legend, depicting life not so much as it was, but as it should have been; and then, there is a second one, one that is set adrift and contemporary, in which neither memory, nor the future are certain.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Víctor Erice

Written by: Víctor Erice, Michel Gaztambide

Produced by: Maximiliano Lasansky, Cristina Zumarraga, Pablo E. Bossi, Víctor Erice, Jose Alba, Odile Antonio-Baez, Agustin Bossi, Pol Bossi

Cinematography: Valentin Alvarez

Editing: Ascen Marchena

Production Design: Curru Garabal

Costume Design: Helena Sanchis

Make-Up & Hair: Beatushka Wojtowicz

Original Score: Federico Jusid

Sound: Iván Marín, Juan Ferro, Candela Palencia

Visual Effects: Miguel Gonzalez Familiar, Eduardo Jimenez Abad

Casting: Pilar Moya

Cast: Manolo Solo (Miguel Garay), José Coronado (Julio Arenas), Ana Torrent (Ana Arenas)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2023