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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yulia Savelyeva's Naked City




If Nikita Mikhalkov's cologne is supposed to smell like a combination of horse sweat, papirosy and his very own mustache, then what can the world expect from his beer?


The world-famous Russian director, who has far outdistanced his fellow filmmakers when it comes to the brave new world of self-promotion, has produced yet another liquid concoction tied to his latest film sensation, "The Barber of Siberia."


Apparently not satisfied to rest on the laurels of his Yunkersky cologne - produced by the Novaya Zarya perfumery and named after the film's heroic yunkera, or cadets - Mikhalkov has teamed up with the team of Bravo International beverage artists to produce a Yunkerskoye lager as well. Bravo, famous for their Bochkaryov brew, produced the fruits of their labor at an intimate gathering Tuesday at the Cultural Fund on Gogolevsky Bulvar.


The event, which boasted an orchestra dressed in pre-revolutionary military garb, saw the creme of Moscow's kino-bohemia gathered to nibble sturgeon and shrimp and sample Mikhalkov's latest marketing experiment. Hollywood heroine Julia Ormond was nowhere in sight, but "Barber's" Russian crew was out in full force, led by leading man Oleg Menshikov, who, resplendent in his de rigueur silk scarf, was the only guest to pass up the beer. Perhaps he was distracted by preparations for a new project - he spent much of the evening in intense conversation with "Assa" director Sergei Solovyov.


A number of the city's best-loved actresses were also on hand, including Lyudmila Gurchanko, who co-starred with Mikhalkov in a number of films, including "Railway Station for Two," and Irina Skobtseva, star of Vitaly Bondarchuk's "War and Peace."


Mikhalkov, accompanied by his famous father, Soviet anthem lyricist Sergei Mikhalkov, as well as his wife and older children Anya and Artyom - younger daughter Nadya, his co-star in "Burnt by the Sun," is apparently still too young for such events - made a modest speech in which he proclaimed Yunkerskoye the best beer he has ever tried. In fact, the beer, brewed according to a "pre-revolutionary" recipe and bearing Mikhalkov's signature as a guarantee of quality, is really pretty good. Look for it soon in a kiosk near you.


The director laid out his own standards for taste-test success: "A good beer is one that makes you feel wonderful that night and terrible the morning after." He paused, then added: "Pavel Lebeshev knows what I'm talking about," drawing a laugh from the crowd, including Lebeshev - Mikhalkov's long-time cinematographer - himself.


By the end of the evening, the crowd looked pretty flushed. But they managed a few rounds of "ura!" before calling it a night.