A Year in Shorts Day 90: "Flamenco at 5:15"

Much like propaganda films, documentaries can occasionally be tricky to review. After all, if a film’s primary purpose is to inform, should how well it does that be the primary criterion by which to judge it? I would say no. After all, documentaries are an art form, and there’s more to gauge them by than just how educational they are. At least I hope so, otherwise I’m probably being a little unfair to Cynthia Scott’s Flamenco at 5:15.

(via IMDb)

Another production by the National Film Board of Canada, Flamenco at 5:15 covers a group of ballet students taking flamenco classes as part of their senior year. If you want to watch a movie about people learning to flamenco dance, you're going to be in for a good time. If you're looking for a little something more... well, you're out of luck.

I don't know. There's nothing particularly wrong with this film- it's educational, watching people dance is fun, and there's some decent cinematography throughout. So as an educational film, it's fine. But viewed as a film, there's really not much else to it. Part of me thinks the film might have been improved without any narration or interviews, or any dialogue whatsoever. Just clips of people dancing set to music; those sorts of films are very artistic and often very compelling to watch. Plus they're shorter!

But hey, if you like this film (or think you might like it), don't let me rain on your parade. There are certainly worse ways to spend your time. And hey, it won an Oscar, so it must have done something right!

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