Not your street corner Midwestern bearded ironists, Valeriy Todorovskiy’s “Hipsters” have dash, panache and more. A boisterous, candied eyeful of fantasticated Soviet-era 1955 youth culture that bears a keen likeness to “Grease,” it’s a charming widescreen musical in a culture that resists musicals. Winner for best film, production design, costumes and sound in Russia’s equivalent of the Oscar, Todorovskiy describes his energetic gem as a time-bending artifact: “I combined the hipster movement of the fifties with the Russian rocker rebels of the late eighties.” And its placement dead in the center of Khrushchev’s USSR would have its own punk power even without the bursts of toe-to-toe political argument. The mix of both sets and locations is sweet, especially in the fantastically straightforward final number that dances its way through the streets of contemporary Moscow with crowds of fashionable modern youth. With Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina (“Lilya 4-Ever”). 125m. 35mm. Widescreen. (Ray Pride)
“Hipsters” opens Friday at Siskel. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.