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A small provincial town is home to two rival teenage gangs, one devoted to loose living and punk music and the other a collection of narrow-minded bodybuilders obsessed with order and convinced of their own moral rectitude. However, this cosy state of affairs is upset by the arrival of two strangers dressed like Pushkin, the famous early 19th century Russian poet, who proceed to found their own organisation, dedicated ostensibly to the memory of the great writer and the "salvation of Russia". Gradually, they begin to assume control of the town...Written by
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In the Russian city of Zaborsk, a crazed fun-loving, x-generation youth group/band/gang known as Capella are terrorizing the citizens with heavy metal, simulations of sex acts (and others), having obscene parades, staging pranks, and just pretty much acting like young punks (i think this is hinting at American culture). The rival gang is one of dumb weight lifters, who we only see working out. Two new arrivals come to the town - one returning to his hometown and his mysterious guest, one who brings a plan for the clearing the city of all the punk trash and rescuing mother Russia from her present shamed status to her greatness of intellect, art respect. This he believes can only be done with the help of only one man, Russia's greatest poet Alexander Sergeivich Pushkin, or simply Pushkin. They form their own club with the help of local communist officials, and recruit the gang of weightlifter, teaching them a new ideology and the gentleman way of Pushkin. Their club is ASP, or A.S. Pushkin, Club of Pushkin. This is really where the absurdity begins!! It gets funnier and funnier. A lot of wonderfully recited poetry by Pushkin (ahaha, they even train with their staffs while they recite Pushkin, and later they beat innocent people while chanting the same poem).
This is Mamin's most absurd film, freely braking boundaries of reality and logic. It had me laughing more than any of his films. The main Pushkinite is a hilarious character. This film has a lot of themes that could be drawn: about idol worship, effect of groups on people, youth vs. older generations, feelings of freedom that come with political change. This film also has 4 actors from "Window to Paris" (that I could think of right now), the Mamin film most famous in US.
This film reminded me and a friend of Clockwork orange, probably because our "heros" all dress like Pushkin and carry staffs with which they thrash people, and of course all of the films groups can be looked at as gangs eventually (just remember this is a most crazy, hilarious, absurd, comedy). GREAT film, i've been watching it over and over lately. Truly hilarious and insanely shot, very color full (though my copy isn't very good quality transfer).
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