Arts Desk

Filmfest DC, Previewed: Flamenco, Flamenco

This week's dead-tree Washington City Paper devotes an insane amount of copy to Filmfest DC, which runs from April 7-17. Here's our review of one of the festival's many musically inclined selections.

At some point in the near future, Viacom will have finished its inexorable march into every country on the planet and will start launching regional MTV networks, not content merely with national ones. And whenever MTV Andalucia hits the air, expect its programming to look a lot like Carlos Saura's documentary Flamenco, Flamenco. The film consists entirely of music video-like performances of flamenco songs by some of the genre's greats—Paco de Lucía, Niña Pastori, Tomatito. Shot in an exhibition hall built for the 1992 Seville world's fair, and with sets designed to look like landscapes, the movie looks as good as it sounds. One song features a rhythm hammered out on an anvil; another has the singer and two percussionists sitting around a table, which—when tapped on—keeps the beat. The lighting, the dancing, the guitar work, and the singing is spectacular. Still, 101 minutes is a lot of flamenco videos to sit through. Maybe MTV Andalucia is still a few years off.

Flamenco, Flamenco screens Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. at Avalon Theatre; Thursday, April 14 at 8:45 p.m. at AMC Mazza Gallerie; and Saturday, April 16 at Avalon Theatre. $11.

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