: : Lindyhopping Through Spring: :
Lindyhopping Through Spring

Cathay Classics Film Festival, besides the movie (read the review for "It's Always Spring below"), dinner is also provided, as well as some introductory dance lessons from Jitterbugs Swingapore. After the film ended, we were ushered to the Cathay Preview Lounge at Level 6 to partake in the post-screening actisvities.

As we entered the Preview Lounge, the team from Jitterbugs Swingapore was already in full swing (pardon the pun) into the lindy hop. Despite the energetic and catchy movements, some opted for the dinner queue first to fill up empty stomachs. Hey, you can't dance without energy yeah?

The dancers/instructors took the time to showcase various moves while the audience had our their fill with the delicious spread. Clearly, being entertained by the dancers made you want to join them as soon as you learnt some basic moves.

It took a while for the everyone to warm up and get their dancing feet ready, but before you can say "Lindy Hop", most had already cast away their initial shyness and gamely made their way to join the Jitterbugs in executing some lindy hop moves. It's fairly easy, the beginner moves that is, and everyone was clearly clamouring for more as they danced with their partners.

So for those of you who are dance buffs, who wanna move to the groove after watching a Classic movie (which tickled the dance bug in you), or are just simply looking for a different way to spend your evening, round up some chums, snag a date, invite your parents or older relatives, and have an unforgettable evening with Cathay!

Cathay Classics runs every last Tuesday of the month at Cathay Cineplex Orchard, until January 2006.
Tickets cost S$35 per person, inclusive of movie,
dinner and introductory dance lessons.

  Movie Review: It's Always Spring

For the uninitiated, Cathay is now having a Cathay Classics Film Festival, showcasing a number of films from their rich archives. What's common in the films featured is music and dance, starring Screen Queens of yesteryear, like Ge Lan and Lin Dai.

It's Always Spring is a 60s movie which tells the story of 2 songstresses. Li Ailian is a top singer from Singapore, trying to make a name for herself in the Hong Kong night clubbing scene.

Tao Haiyin is THE songstress in Hong Kong, who felt that her status at the top being threatened with the introduction of the foreign talent.

Chance plays a huge role throughout this film, as it led the narrative from misunderstanding to misunderstanding. From Ailian and Haiyin working in the same nightclub, to competing for starring programmes in a TV station, and even to the cutting of musical albums. Caught in the middle of the catfight is Tao Zhengsheng, Haiyin's brother, who has the hots for Ailian.

There isn't any villains per se, but rather, the sins of man like greed, pettiness and selfishness permeate through the characters. Both leads exhibit these behaviours, so there isn't any "goody-two-shoes" character, which makes it a little more real, and keep the conflicts interesting.

What I've always liked about movies from the 60s, be it Hollywood or Asian, are the musicals. It was an era of song and dance, worked into the narrative either deliberately (the cast breaking out into a performance), or naturally by including it into the misc-en-scene. Here, given the nightclub setting, it was obvious and easy for the characters to break into the song and dance routine. Bearing in mind it was the swinging 60s in Asia, there wasn't any raunchy numbers - all we had were cheeky teases.

Some might find some of the songs familiar, as they probably are evergreen chinese classics. The 60s is a fun, though totally different era from today. The nightclub scene then isn't what you have now. There are live musicians, huge stages, dinner settings and dance area all rolled into one. There's also a resident songstress (in this case, two of them, hence the keen competition), and lecherous (old) men waiting in the wings to woo them. It's a blast to see these scenes not deliberately being recreated for that specific era (it's made back then), and fashion buffs will have a field day with the various chic clothes and hairdos.

This film might be dated, but the charm is how films back then resolve conflicts into the now typical fairy tale endings. Various techniques like the soft-focus close ups, the fake backgrounds, and transitions like the fade-in and outs were used in abundance, but somehow refreshing for a change, and allows you to appreciate how sophisticated things have evolved to today.

For those who want to relive the good ol' 60s, or to experience classic films of that era, or even want to ogle at the babes of your parents' generation, take a pick from Cathay Classics' offering!


It's Always Spring zips you back to the nostalgic 60s nightclubbing scene! Charming and enjoyable!

Reported & Photos by Stefan Shih | Layout by: Lokman BS

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