Like Dan Bejar, Nicolas Jules Robinson, proprietor of Montreal’s popular hipster bar Korova (there’s a photo-booth, large bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a neon sunglasses sign and up until recently, arcade games) has long been influenced by the dress-sense of cinema’s Serpico.
"Well, I guess if you fight a war long enough, you end up marrying the enemy."
As former Vietnam veteran, racist, and the department’s most decorated officer Stanley White in Michael Cimino’s Year of the Dragon, Mickey Rourke might seem an unlikely hipster cop, and yet… Surely, dying your hair prematurely gray is an affectation to rival even that of wearing lensless glasses.
A youthful and 33 year old Rourke underwent a-not-entirely convincing transformation to play 48, the dye job and costuming adding a wink-and-nod to another deeply felt Method performance from the brooding boxer.
Like Serpico, this was another Dino De Laurentis production.
“I will reveal that I wear skinny jeans off-duty.”
- Detective Rick Lee
Hipster Policing didn’t just start with the NYPD’s Detective Rick Lee (Community Affairs, First Precinct), nor with Al Pacino’s portrayal of Frank Serpico in Sidney Lumet’s 1973 film Serpico. Although the phenomenon’s profile is now raised thanks to Detective Rick Lee’s presence at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, it would be erroneous to imagine that Mr. Lee is its non plus ultra. He is nothing if not the heir to a lengthy and rich history, dating back past punks, hippies, beatniks and Zoot suit rioters to the very origins of the hipster itself.
Here we aim to illuminate the complicated relationship between the hipster cop and the community he or she serves, as well as his or her superiors, and the criminal element. We’ll consider the hipster cop’s portrayal in film, literature and art - is the hipster cop a lonely anti-hero doing his or her best in a corrupt system, or a hapless tool of the powers that be?