Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sov Bloc Chic (A Cold War Frottage)


Greyhoos said...

It's interesting, now that you bring it up, but I do seem to remember a fair amount of fetishistic "Othering" going on in this respect in the mid-80s. I'm thinking not so much of film, as in other cultural areas. E.g.: I recall seeing the occasional fashion spread of clothes modeled after some Soviet or Eastern Bloc style or another (usually involving "utilitarian" workers garments). In graphic arts & design, there was a lot of borrowing from/riffing off of Russian Constructivism at the time. I also recall similar motifs and theme popping up in the U.S. art scene at the time.

W. Kasper said...

Yeah I remember a lot of graphics/fashion/art Soviet chic too (so much it would be hard to just cut'n'paste key examples). In early 80s UK, it seemed to veer from apocalyptic scenarios to a kind of semi-romance. In films and plays, it often played like some coquettish ritual (even if it was some old geezer like Alec Guiness hunting for spies); with witty chatter and 'sporting' rivalries - like a restoration comedy featuring the KGB.

Greyhoos said...

And in the U.S., we briefly had this annoying one-trick pony...


Phil Knight said...



W. Kasper said...

Damn! Forgot one.

I remember constantly singing this other legend around the house (much to my mum's annoyance):


Number one everywhere! He's probably doing well in software marketing or something nowadays.

Phil Knight said...

Poor old Falco died in a road accident.

I remember we had a group of German exchange students at my school for a few weeks in the mid-80's.

When "Rock Me Amadeus" came on at the school disco they all went absolutely MENTAL doing this crazy, angular strut-dancing.

Then Simple Minds or The Alarm or something came on, and they just drifted back to their seats as though nothing had happened.

"Amadeus" seemed to have the same cathartic effect on them that "How Soon Is Now" did on us. But with the comedy bonus of inciting them to dance like chickens.

W. Kasper said...

"He vas-a pop-u-lair".

It's funny, but I think I'd prefer Falco to all three of those bands, if I was at a disco now. Give or take a breakbeat mash-up.

Phil Knight said...

Me too.

But then again I'd prefer Suzi Quatro to Bowie, Lou or Iggy.

I can't be bothered keeping up appearances anymore, alas.