7.2/10
3,157
10 user 43 critic

Hipsters (2008)

Stilyagi (original title)
Young people struggle to do things their way in the 1950s.

Writers:

, (libretto)
14 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Polza
...
Katya (as Evgeniya Brik)
Maksim Matveyev ...
Fred (as Maksim Matveev)
Igor Voynarovskiy ...
Bob
Ekaterina Vilkova ...
Konstantin Balakirev ...
Dryn
Aleksandr Stefantsov ...
Nolik
Georgiy Sivokhin ...
Kim
Olga Smirnova ...
Sherri
Yanina Melekhova ...
Liza (as Yanina Buyko)
Irina Rozanova ...
Mat Polzy
...
Otets Melsa
Oleg Yankovskiy ...
Otets Freda
...
Labukh
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Storyline

While the Cold War heats up on the world stage, rebellious youth in 1955 Moscow wage a cultural battle against dismal Soviet conformity, donning brightly colored black-market clothing, adopting American nicknames and reveling in forbidden jazz. Straight-laced 20-year-old Communist Mels finds these brazen 'hipsters' shocking until he falls under the spell of one, namely Polly, and joins the new revolution. Soon he's a peacock, cavorting in the latest flashy fashions, sporting an enormous pompadour and wailing on the saxophone. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Moscow 1955. Hot Jazz Meets Cold War.

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boogie Bones  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Director's Cut) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the actors sing and dance themselves in the film. According to Valeriy Todorovskiy, he deliberately cast actors who could sing and dance. See more »

Quotes

Katya: You're worse than an enemy, Mels. You're a traitor.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Samyy luchshiy film 3-DE (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Emu ne nuzhna amerikanskaya zhena
("He Doesn't Need an American Wife")
Music by Kolibri
Words by Konstantin Meladze
Arrangement by Konstantin Meladze
Performed by VIA Gra
Courtesy of VIA Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mixed Opinion
24 January 2009 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie really has 1 thing going for it, which is the unusual cultural element presented. The Russian style and music movement this film is about is extremely eye opening, and the crew did an specular job visualizing it. It follows a typical Russian youth's discovery of and assimilation into a movement to expel the monotonous, monochromatic lifestyles of Soviet Moscow by extremely obsessing with Western fashion and music. Imagine Happy Days interpreted by someone on the other side of the world. The film features some musical elements and some modern songs.

From my older Russian relatives comments, sets and wardrobe were not extremely over the top. Stilagi means something like "stylish obsessed people" - it comes from the word stil' meaning style.

The film was not written for a western audience for the most part, but it could lead to some interesting discussion afterward. For instance, vinyl records were really bootlegged on x-ray sheets and certain musical instruments were extremely illegal!

I thought the actors did a nice job especially the young leads. But they did not sing the songs, nor were the songs from the proper era. The film felt more like a story with musical elements thrown in like Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris - except no zombies, claymation, etc.

However, unless viewing the film with some Russians you probably won't get the full potential presented here. Many of the older actors are extremely famous. The lead female is an actress with some Western recognition. Also some cultural elements like communal living, youth groups, social status, and relevance of characters' names were not explained for Western viewers.

On the negative side, the story itself is at times predictable and other times just absurd. Granted, this is a musical! The writers could have easily set up a straight forward love story set in troubled times, but they chose to extend the third act too far. If the film ended 40 minutes earlier, maybe I would enjoy it more. The plot has multiple loop holes, but addressing them would not help the narrative.

Overall, this can be equated to one of those weird Asian cinema offerings where since you can't get much of the language you ignore the ridiculous story and just focus on the vivid, excellent visuals. It also helps that there are some creative intimate scenes.


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