Reviews of Jinna Hwang's compassionate plea on behalf of misunderstood dance films...
Although I fiercely disagree with Jinna's contention that "Bring It On" belongs in the crash-and-burn category, I deeply enjoyed the Queen of Calculus' lecture. Props for the exciting use of technology (LaaF--promoting the life skill of Powerpoint since 2008) and wonderful film clips/analysis. Given the sad state of recent dance fare, I fear for the future--when anyone caught battle dancing will be arrested! Last 4 One (corporate sponsor--Morning Glory) to the rescue!!!
- Julie Park, First 4 Many
Due to the runaway success of LaaF, attendance has typically been high. So it was an unexpectedly familial change of pace to have LaaF11 be a little more private and close-knit. Dinner was all around the table like a holiday meal, with guest executive and sous chefs Julie Park and Miles Chen ably establishing themselves into their own as inventive and masterful cooks. Lecturer Jinna Hwang demonstrated a high enthusiasm for the subject, as well as an admirable knowledge of the past, present, and future of the dance movie genre. Her expert presentation nearly convinced me that it really was OK for dance movies to have plot, dialogue, and acting that all suck. And after seeing Planet B-Boy, I had a newfound awe and respect for break-dancers everywhere. Well played.
- Jon Yip, now able to tolerate dance movies
Though I missed Jinna's lecture, through the power of modern technology I was able to live the experience as if I had been there in person! (Click here to experience it yourselves!) The evolution of dance in film was quite intriguing, and even as I viewed the presentation digitally, my body, with a mind of its own, desired to dance dance dance! Most important lesson: Stay for the credits. The only thing preventing a 50 out of 10 star rating was the lack of a full blown dance number by Jinna...
- Daniel Khim, virtual reviewer
For LaaF 11, Jinna Hwang served notice that serious critics should remember that the now-maligned dance genre has roots in respectability: what is now seen as the pit of the uncouth was once the firm ground of the genteel. Somewhere along the way, the genre (d)evolved to all but shed itself of story and character, yet the shadows remain in an awkward, broken marriage. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Well, with a flick of Jinna's remote control (thumb ensconced upon the FF button), we saw no more the height of frivolity, and only the stuff of legends. "If you can't beat the system... break it!" Screenwriters, you got served.
- Jezreel Leung, a serious critic
I <3 DANCE MOVIES! And Jinna is a woman after my own heart. While these wonderful movies began as fabulous feats of fancy footwork, they have taken an unfortunate turn for the worst, and the outlook is grim. However, if you keep Jinna's marvelous guide to watching dance movies in mind, even you can look forward with great anticipation to the DVD release of Boogie Town (which will happen very soon after its theater release). Viva la dance!
- Monita Scott, Borderline professional country line dancer
Jinna Hwang showcased her knowledge and genetic heritage of dance in her lecture cleverly entitled "The Evolution of Dance Movies." Who would have expected that we would be revisited by the uncanny valley explaining our extreme dissatisfaction with the current genre of dance-based cinema? A fantastic lecture that will surely inspire future generations of dance movie lovers! Also of note was Julie Park's debut as guest chef. Delicious!
- Miles Chen, (in)famous youtube dancer
I had no doubt in my mind that Jinna was an accomplished alchemist of sorts -- turning ignorant students into brilliant mathematicians and conjuring up brilliant math ideas out of thin air. So it isn't surprising to me that Jinna took the trashy fodder of today's modern dance movies and created in the LaaF audience a newfound appreciation for them, despite the utter lack of plot, action, character development, etc. And big thanks to Miles for making the new technological innovation of vimeo-casting lectures possible! Hooray for Flip!!!
-Ji Son, muppet dancer