Cannes review: 'Leto', Soviet Russia’s summer of love and rock 'n' roll
Oligarchs hire him to sing at their birthday parties, and he has hosted shows on state-funded television. This bizarre combination of Russian rude boy and favorite of the ruling elite makes Shnurov incredibly popular, controversial — and the most successful rock star in modern Russia. In Russian Orthodoxy, the best known of holy fools is Nicholas Salos of Pskov, a 16th century self-styled prophet who famously reprimanded Ivan the Terrible for his brutal campaigns and persuaded him not to sack the western Russian city of Pskov.
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Shnurov is a decidedly modern prophet. The singer took the opportunity to suggest that the culture ministry itself be abolished. Patriotic themes are encouraged, while criticism of the Soviet past is dismissed.
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Yet, in an interview before a Moscow concert this summer, Shnurov dismissed accusations that Russia is a censored state controlled by Putin. Shnurov is old enough to remember censorship as it was practiced in the Soviet Union before its collapse in With the band calling it quits this year after playing together for more than 20 years, it was one of the last concerts Leningrad would play in Moscow. If Russia is turning toward the past, Russians themselves must take some of the blame, he said.
There is no totalitarianism.
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At 47, Shnurov still has the energy of a young performer. He still sings about heavy drinking and partying, but in recent years, he has embraced running and a bit of healthy living.
His stringy long locks of the early s have been replaced by an Ivy League cut. He wears a three-piece gray suit over a white T-shirt. Like Putin, Shnurov is from St.
At the time, Leningrad — the band — was dominating Moscow and St. It relates only to lust, idiocy By the early s, Leningrad was selling out large concert arenas. Petersburg office worker that turns into a drinking marathon. It has become one of the most viewed Russian videos of all time, and it exemplifies the Russia Shnurov says he loves but is pessimistic about. As for the rock scene, it has little in common with that of Western musical biopics: no drugs, no sex, no guitar-smashing — except in one of several thrilling dips into fantasy.
Lyrics are censored and the venues where bands play are monitored by party officials who ensure all fans can do is applaud politely and gently tap their toes. Instead of defending his turf, Mike takes Viktor under his wing, allowing him into the limelight — and into his family life.
Mike, in particular, spends more time copying Western work than creating something new. There are no copyright issues on this side of the Iron Curtain.
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