Victor Sluzhkin signs on as a teacher of geography in a secondary school in his native Perm (in the Urals) and gets lost in a haze of hard vodka, desperate love for a nymphet-like student ... See full summary »
Adequacy is relative. Vitalik, the main character of the movie, seems to be pretty normal. With a respectable office job, a comfy little dwelling and a personal couch doctor, Vitalik looks ... See full summary »
The plot revolves around four old friends-Kamil' (Kamil' Larin), Lesha (Leonid Barats), Sasha (Aleksandr Demidov) and Slava (Rostislav Khait)-all well-to-do professionals in their late 30s ... See full summary »
Russian poet, singer and actor Vladimir Vysotsky was an idol of the 1970s and '80s. In 1980, at the age of 42, he passed away during the Moscow Olympic Games. This is the story of his last ... See full summary »
My iz budushchego, or We Are from the Future, is a movie about time travel. Four 21st century treasure seekers are transported back into the middle of a WWII battle in Russia. The movie's ... See full summary »
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
To the numerous movies about generation gaps we can now add Valeriy Todorovsky's "Stilyagi" ("Hipsters" in English). It focuses on an assortment of youths in 1950s Moscow who are really into western music and fashion, to the disfavor of Soviet authorities. I particularly liked the scene where Fred plays Mels the boogie woogie song: it's gotta be the first time that anyone's ever heard an old-style rock 'n' roll song entirely in Russian.
The movie emphasizes that the authorities considered jazz a form of western imperialism. While I was in grad school, some students from Russia co-rented a house with me and the other US students. One of them noted that this was in fact the case, but that the authorities still allowed Frank Sinatra's music. That sounds counter-intuitive to me, but who knows what the reasoning was. The point is that ever since popular culture arose, the younger generation has gotten into the new stuff while the older generation turns its nose at it. There was one scene in "Hipsters" that reminded me of the scene in "A Hard Day's Night" where the Beatles get into an argument with a man on a train and Ringo* has a snarky comment.
Anyway, really fun movie. And remember, he doesn't need an American wife!
*Today is in fact Ringo's birthday.
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