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Hipsters

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 become one of them, cavorting in the latest flashy fashions, sporting an enormous pompadour and wailing on the saxophone.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina, Eugenia Khirivskaya, Maksim Matveyev, Igor Voynarovskiy
  • Directors: Valeriy Todorsvskiy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AIANILK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,331 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie is great, but I don't have anything to add to what other reviewers have said about it, with the exception of my title above. I had a great deal of difficulty finding that information myself, so I thought posting it might be helpful to others.
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An amazement you should not miss, if you care about movies, music, musicals or protest, HIPSTERS is the real thing -- and achieves that by often being creatively "unreal" and all over the place. Taking its cue from a (rather small, I would guess) movement back in 1950s Russia, in which teens and slightly older young people strove to "make a difference" by adopting odd clothing and musical tastes thought to be favored by American youth, the movie tracks a young man and his girl, members of the The Young Communist League or some such group, who break up a party of hipsters, after which the boy becomes enchanted with the style and one special young woman who embodies it.

The musical numbers are bright, smart, effective -- and very different in theme and style, one from the next -- while the visuals are rich and colorful and the content of the movie encompasses everything from family to politics to sex to procreation (very interestingly handled, that last one). Performances are all they should be, and the finale, conflating music and protest in a marvelous time line, is one for the books: hugely entertaining and moving, too. If the musical, Hair, comes to mind, don't be surprised. HIpsters is equally good -- and also wildly exotic for most western tastes.
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I love this film. Its a wild and terrific musical set in the Soviet Union during (I think) the Khrushchev era. In this time, groups of wild, Western-swing music-loving Soviet youth dress up in fantasy versions of Western dress (a lot of colorful Hawaiian prints and eye-jarring wildly colored tweed suits) and go out dancing and partying to bootleg records of American jazz. The film is slick and fun and sexy. Undoubtedly the abilities of the kids to live large while flying under the radar of the Soviet authorities is exaggerated somewhat...just as the film's young hero "Mels" manages to learn to play saxaphone rather well in what appears to be an astonishingly short time...but the basic idea is honest enough, as anyone who's seen the documentary "East Side Story" can understand. Definitely a fun, enjoyable, well-made film with some very appealing young Russian actors. See it, and you too will know what is meant by "boogies on bones."
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The movie's opening scene is set in one of the Soviet's era "Culture park", basically, a place where people would come to dance, watch theater, take a walk, have an ice cream and enjoy the scenery. The main hero of the movie, Mels, dressed in a typical Soviet 50's garb is part of the group of college students who have taken upon themselves the noble task of cleansing the society that has been in pursuit of Communism from undesirable elements, the kids of their age who idolize Western values-music, manners, and clothing. As Mels pursues one of such elements, a beautiful Polina through the dark park which the cinematography has transformed into an enchanted forest, it feels that he too becomes enchanted by Polina and everything that comes with her. I watched this movie 3 times-by myself, with hubby and then with my kids, ages 13 and 10. The movie is very colorful, with amazing score and top Russian actors playing the older generation-Mels', Bob's and Fred's fathers are literally creme de la crop when it comes to the middle aged actors of Russia. And Oksana Anichkina who plays Polina, I have first discovered her in the movie "Sisters", the directorial debut of the Sergei Bodrov Jr, whose untimely tragic death still resonates with many fans of the movies where he starred and then directed.
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This movie had me laughing and crying. I loved it and I recommend it to anyone. On another site, someone has criticized the sex scenes, saying they had no place in the movie. On the contrary, I think they fit right in. The first one using illustrations from the Kama Sutra, was hilarious and had me laughing out loud. The second, with Mel and Polly putting their mattress on the floor so the rest of the family wouldn't hear the squeaky springs of their bed, was so sweet.

There was one scene though that I couldn't understand - maybe someone can help me. Towards the end, Mel sets up a meeting between his friend Bob and an American, so Bob can buy jazz records. Mel leaves and the transaction begins. Immediately the police swoop and arrest Bob and the American.

My question - Was Mel working for the police and did he set up Bob? If so, then it is a sour blemish on Mel's otherwise decent nature. It also makes me wonder about Mel's off-hand recounting of the bad things that happened to his other friends. Was Mel the cause of their misfortunes too?

If not, and it was just a coincidence that Bob was arrested at a meeting arranged by Mel, then the scene should have been left out because of what it wrongly implies.

Can anyone reassure me that Mel was an all round good guy?
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I majored in Russian Studies, and I like heavy, ponderous, Chekhovian Russian drama ... which this movie completely is not, while also not being vapid or slapstick or absurdist.

This musical has high production values for modern Russian cinema and uses some very exaggerated representations of the uniformity of Stalinist life and the vivacity of the dandies that emerged during the thaw under Khrushchev to overstate the turbulence in society. An imaginative repurpose of Nautilus Pompilius' pro-democracy Скованные Одной Цепью into a song used to express Komsomol uniformity inverts the viewer's context.

The closing song is particularly progressive and could even be somewhat controversial in Russian, embracing modern social differences where the mainstream society struggles with alternative lifestyles.
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