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Leto – Kirill Serebrennikov (2018)

It has been a while since I saw a music movie. “Leto” (meaning “summer”) plays in 1980’ies Russia. There are youths who lean somewhat to Western music, much to the demise of many, but not to all.

Mayk does alright. He has a rock band and he is the star of his scene. He and his beautiful wife Irina have parties at their house all the time.

Contrary to what you may expect, there are actually concerts. As a matter of fact, there is a venue called “Rock House”. Well, the concerts are not entirely what you would imagine. The music, whether punk, rock or something else, is played acoustic, the audience sits in a theater and it is strictly forbidden to show any appreciation safe applause at the end of a song.
A band that wants to play at the Rock House has to have approval for the lyrics which of course are supposed to be patriotic, but a little irony here and there is allowed too.
All this leads to amusing situations of course.

Then we have a bored group of youths who enjoy the fringe of American music, from The Beatles to the Sex Pistols and Velvet Underground to Debbie Harry. Even though most of them to not understand the lyrics, some try to write out and analyze the lyrics.

The film revolves around Mayk and Irina, but also the upcoming musician Tony. You get an idea of the Russian music scene (very tame!) and what youths do to entertain themselves.

Then we have a couple of brilliant over-the-top punk scenes in which famous songs are misused and animations make the weirdest effects, these scenes really make the film a must-see.

Informative and entertaining!

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