Cinematryoshka: The Thaw, Mad Men à la russe

This week, the serial movie “Thaw” debuted on Russian TV. A special showing on the big screen was held in conjunction with the TV premiere at the Pioneer movie theater in Moscow.

The Russian TV series industry can’t usually claim to cause such a stir. Russians tend to watch Western TV series, if they watch series at all.

Here we have an altogether different case. “Thaw” is the debut picture for director and producer Valery Todorovsky, who is the son of the Soviet director, Petr Todorovsky. The younger Todorovsky has already touched on the topic of the 1960s before. This was in his latest feature film musical debut picture, Stilyagi.

Valery Todorovsky

Todorovsky was able to speak to people who make the best American series, and to see and understand the technology. He met Matthew Weiner, the creator the famous "Mad Men". He acknowledged why he was so passionate for a story about advertisers: “It’s all simple: dad was an advertising agent in Manhattan in the 1960s. This is a movie about my parents. Real TV series are not created out of thin air. It’s something intimate that you know personally.” After this conversation, I’m walking and thinking to myself, “What do I know?” I grew up around filmmakers. So, that’s when I decided to make a movie about my world.

In the case of the Soviet Union’s real history, the understanding of the thaw as a synonym for freedom and relatively free thinking was relevant for only a few years. After that, it turned into Brezhnev’s depressing stagnation. In the context of the Russian movie industry, we hope that “Thaw” won’t just be a one-hit wonder. We hope it paves the way for a blossoming future.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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