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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
On 24 December 2008, one day before the official theatrical release, an exhibition called "Vremya stilyag" ("The Time of Hipsters") opened in Moscow as part of the film's promotion campaign. Admission was free. The exhibition was divided into two parts with a very large board made of iron. On the one side were 'artifacts' pertaining to the age of Soviet hipsters, such as anti-hipster articles and caricatures from the Soviet press, old TV set called KVN, rarity radio gramophones, a round advertising column etc. as well as costumes from the film, while the other side represented America of the early and mid-20th century, "the world of Soviet hipsters' dreams", featuring, for example, rare photos of Grace Kelly and Charlie Parker. There were over 150 exhibits in total, taken from private collections or provided by the Russian State Library. The exhibition lasted until mid-January 2009. See more »
You're worse than an enemy, Mels. You're a traitor.
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The picture is stylish and colorful. Nevertheless, it will be better understood and perceived by Russian people, by those who grew in the Soviet Union as an adolescence and who knows what's it's like to constantly be under the pressure of the system. By wearing bright clothes and make-up, by dancing to the forbidden music, these guys resist "greyness" and boredom of the time. They try to change not only themselves , but also the milieu which surrounds them and every day and every night controls their private lives. Music is great, but again mostly it's Russian, and only those who knows it, will get this "nostalgic" feeling while watching the movie.
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