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The Leningrad Cowboys, a fictional Russian rock band, and their manager, travel to America seeking fame and fortune. As they cross the country, trying to get to a wedding in Mexico, they are followed by the village idiot, who wishes to join the band.Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Has anyone ever heard of a Finnish rock band called Leningrad Cowboys? No? Then here's a great chance of catching up with a piece of music history. Jokes apart, this is a very clever and funny film chronicling the Cowboys'slow, excruciating journey towards success.
It all begins in the Siberian countryside, where the musicians are trying to impress a potential producer. Sadly (for them), this guy states the obvious about their work: "It's sh*t". Hence the guys'need to go somewhere else. More precisely, the USA. Led by the ruthless manager Vladimir (Matti Pellonpää), the Cowboys try to export their music and look (Pulp Fiction-style suits, absurdly long tufts and matching boots). Not an easy task, as their efforts are way too unconventional for the yanks. "You know Mexico? Go there. My cousin's getting married. He could need people like you". And so the journey continues in a second-choice car (don't miss Jim Jarmusch's cameo as the salesman) and under miserable circumstances. Only Vladimir seems to be enjoying himself. The other band-members have to cope with his dictatorial manners. Well, except for one Cowboy (Silu Seppälä) "travelling" on the car roof (you see, he froze to death at the beginning of the film), and Igor (Kari Väänänen), the village idiot who's following the group in the desperate hope of joining them (he was rejected because his hair isn't long enough).
A lot of things happen in this film, some on the brink of credibility, and to reveal them in advance would be a serious offense on my behalf. Suffice to say that this is one of the funniest films ever made: after four movies in which he dealt with various sides of Finnish society, mostly poor, Aki Kaurismäki decided to tell a different kind of story, featuring the "worst rock band in the world" (their words, of course). The result is a wildly inventive, often politically incorrect, always hilarious musical comedy.
Trust me: this is one odyssey worth watching.
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