Presentation Title

Soviet Society in Color: the Stilyagi

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

MSE 011

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Throughout Soviet history, there have been many counter cultural movements, which can all be traced back to the stilyagi movement of the late-Stalinist era. Todorovsky in his film, of the same name, Stilyagi (Hipsters) romanticizes the movement, making the stilyagi seem bigger than life many times throughout the film. But in reality living the life of a stilyaga was rarely glamorous. This paper explores themes of class dissonance, generational dissonance, individuality, and contemporary Soviet thought as portrayed in the film. This essay also discusses the romanticization of the late-Stalinist counter culture, and also the longing of return to that era by Todorovsky, even though the glamorous lifestyle portrayed in the film is far from reality. Using bright colors, familiar music, and relatable characters the film produces a myopic positive view of the past, viewing it as American’s view the Roaring 20s. But in doing so Todorovsky actively hides the dark side of contemporary Soviet culture behind a façade of color, and music.

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Nov 12th, 11:00 AM Nov 12th, 11:15 AM

Soviet Society in Color: the Stilyagi

MSE 011

Throughout Soviet history, there have been many counter cultural movements, which can all be traced back to the stilyagi movement of the late-Stalinist era. Todorovsky in his film, of the same name, Stilyagi (Hipsters) romanticizes the movement, making the stilyagi seem bigger than life many times throughout the film. But in reality living the life of a stilyaga was rarely glamorous. This paper explores themes of class dissonance, generational dissonance, individuality, and contemporary Soviet thought as portrayed in the film. This essay also discusses the romanticization of the late-Stalinist counter culture, and also the longing of return to that era by Todorovsky, even though the glamorous lifestyle portrayed in the film is far from reality. Using bright colors, familiar music, and relatable characters the film produces a myopic positive view of the past, viewing it as American’s view the Roaring 20s. But in doing so Todorovsky actively hides the dark side of contemporary Soviet culture behind a façade of color, and music.