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Hipsters (2008)

Stilyagi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Musical, Romance | October 2011 (USA)
Young people struggle to do things their way in the 1950s.

Writers:

Yuriy Korotkov, Valeriy Todorovskiy (libretto)
16 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anton Shagin ... Mels
Oksana Akinshina ... Polza
Evgenia Brik ... Katya (as Evgeniya Brik)
Maksim Matveev ... Fred
Igor Voynarovskiy Igor Voynarovskiy ... Bob
Ekaterina Vilkova ... Betsi
Konstantin Balakirev ... Dryn
Aleksandr Stefantsov Aleksandr Stefantsov ... Nolik
Georgiy Sivokhin Georgiy Sivokhin ... Kim
Olga Filimonova ... Sherri (as Olga Smirnova)
Yanina Melekhova Yanina Melekhova ... Liza (as Yanina Buyko)
Irina Rozanova ... Mat Polzy
Sergey Garmash ... Otets Melsa
Oleg Yankovskiy ... Otets Freda
Aleksey Gorbunov ... 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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boogie Bones See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,101,695
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Krasnaya Strela See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Director's Cut) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob's name (Boris Moiseevich) is a joking reference to Boris Moiseev whose image is rather comic for Russian public. See more »

Quotes

Katya: I don't want to be different
Mels: Why?
Katya: Because I don't imagine being better than others
Mels: You're not better, you're not worse. You're just different! Do you understand?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version was cut by ca. 12 minutes of more "dramatic" scenes. These scenes were restored for the DVD version and include:
  • A scene at the beginning where a sick patient is examined by Bob, who then uses his X-ray picture to create a bootleg LP.
  • Bob's arrest by the NKVD (predecessors of KGB) as he tries to buy jazz albums from an American.
  • The visit of Polza's mother at Mels' father, where she starts a fight with Polza.
  • The "squeaky bed" episode.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Pust vso budet tak, kak ty zakhochesh
Written and Music by Vladimir Shakhrin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable and with insight into postwar Russian history
15 February 2009 | by evguenySee all my reviews

"Stilyagi" is one of the best Russian movies I have seen in the past 10 years. The director and actors did wonderful job. The movie is both romantic and fun, and at the same time it gives insight about a curious historical phenomenon.

The World War II not only devastated Russia, but also exposed the otherwise isolated country to Western culture through captured movies, vinyl LPs, art, fashion clothes, and other spoils of war. This was particularly valuable for people who wanted to express their difference from others. They started to copy perceived "American" lifestyle, especially the clothes, using films like "Sun Valley Serenade" and the covers of jazz LPs as primary references. Not surprisingly, the result was an outlook more typical for Western show business entertainers than for mainstream design. Although the group believed that their attire was the true definition of style, the rest of Soviet population labeled them "stilyagi" to show their disapproval. In the totalitarian regime "admiration for the West" was a felony, however, after Stalin's death state security was reluctant to take action and stilyagi were facing relatively modest retaliation, mostly from local Komsomol (Communist Party youth wing) activists.

Since the movie is about liberty and has elements of a modern musical, I feel like comparing it with "Across the Universe" (2007). In this comparison, "Stilyagi" is more dynamic and psychological, while actors' voices are just as good. The main duo of Anton Shagin and Oksana Akinshina, who are playing a Komsomol activist Mels in love with a female stilyagi member Polza, are delivering excellent performance, which is especially striking given their young ages. (It is ironic that Mels is an acronym for "Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin," and "Polza" in translation from Russian means "use.") A scene of a Komsomol meeting is truly memorable and in my view is a masterpiece. The music is mostly modern Russian pop and alternative rock, with lyrics adapted to the plot. The ending, which makes a connection between liberty ideals of stilyagi and modern youth, sounds like a bold statement in the nation that is still re-thinking its past.


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