LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA
Starring: Klas Olofsson, Katina Farago,
Mattii Pellonpaa, & Kari
Runtime: 110 minutes
Distributor: Orion Classics
Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Producer: Klaus Heydemann
Writer: Aki Kaurismaki
Address Comments To:
Thus, opens this spoof wherein the musicians have jet black, pointed hair that juts out almost a foot in front and extremely long, pointed black shoes that also stick way out in front. The band arrives in New York, contacts an agent and discovers that its brand of music would play well in Mexico. The agent gives the leader, Vladmir, a dime as payment for the band's worth and schedules them to play at a Mexican wedding.
The rest of the movie follows a journey motif as the band travels via a broken-down Cadillac with two members riding in the trunk to various places like Memphis and New Orleans where they play in bars. Again, the film relies on understated humor, deadpan expressions (by the musicians) and dubbed-in captions to carry the story line.
For instance, the band stops for gas outside Memphis, and two members wonder where Vladmir gets all the beer he drinks continuously. Vladmir sends them all to the rest room, and, when they get out of the car, hundreds of empty beer cans come rolling out. After the others leave, Vladmir takes a carton of beer from a case on the cartop. Usually deadpan, he now displays a slight smile.
Another incident, which turns out to be the film's highlight as far as humor is concerned, features the gas station's service man. With his long, pointed hair and long, pointed black shoes, a caption clues the viewer in to his identity... "Suddenly, a relative." From this low, the film goes downhill.
The cowboys reach Mexico, pull up in front of a house and the bride walks out, saying, "We've been expecting you," whereupon the wedding promptly begins. Then, at film's end, as the band plays for the wedding, Vladmir remains outside, gets a drink from a spigot on a nearby cactus, turns and walks off into the night. The caption reads "And nobody ever saw him again, but the band reached the top ten in Mexico."
Don't waste your time on this one. Though the film does not contain gross evil, neither does it contain any redeeming value. As Christians, we are to redeem "the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5: 16). In short, the Leningrad Cowboys should have stayed in Leningrad.