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Selena: The Final Notes (1997)

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Rather lurid and sensational, but interesting doco of Selena.
15 May 2005 | by (Here) – See all my reviews

Like many people outside of the Southwest and other areas where Tejano music is popular, I sadly only became aware of Selena after her tragic death. After hearing some of her recordings I sought out whatever information I could find on Selena's life and legacy, and came across this video.

While very interesting with some rare footage of fans talking about their reactions to Selena's death and how her music affected their lives, the film has a bit of an exploitative edge to it. It's an extremely low-rent affair, with loads of stock footage and music that has little to do with Tejano music in general or Selena in particular. Also, long lingering shots of Selena's wake push the boundaries of taste. They also go straight for tabloid TV territory when her murderer, Yolanda Saldivar, comes into the picture, with over-the-top, creepy music and lame video effects.

Also of note, the narrator consistently mispronounces the singer's name. Selena Quintanilla is pronounced "SeLEEna KEENtanEEah" but the narration calls her "SeLAYna KWINtanEEah." On a brighter note, some of the fan interviews are really quite moving. Also well represented is the constant stream of fans pouring into Corpus Christi, marking upon the Quintanilla property with good intentions, but much disrespect for the Quintanillas and their property.

All in all, worth a view, despite the shortcomings of the production. The VHS edition viewed was on low-quality videotape in EP mode. The audio levels are uneven, with background music drowning out the narration at times, and the picture quality varies from passable to diabolical.

This Selena fan was disappointed with the production, but is glad to have it as part of his collection.

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