Leningrad Cowboys Go America Reviews
November 19, 2011
Hilarious! This is just one more reason to adore Kaurismaki.
October 20, 2010
Ridiculous, absurd, stupid, hilarious, ingenious, rock and roll and just plane brilliant. I love Aki Kaurismäki's films but this is his stand out bizarre and surreal project, the 'cult' film every director has inside them. Matti Pellonpää is brilliant as the manager and the band is actually pretty good! Miss it and miss out, I can't believe so many of you have put 'Not interested'!?
October 16, 2009
Imagine a Finnish Jim Jarmusch directing a no-budget remake of "The Blues Brothers." That's the feel of this 1989 cult comedy, which manages to be both deadpan and slapstick in equal doses.
The Leningrad Cowboys are a large Siberian group who play traditional polkas. They favor dark sunglasses, exaggerated Winklepicker shoes and ludicrous quiff haircuts that make Lyle Lovett look like Richie Cunningham. They sail overseas after a local record exec rejects them but advises that Americans "swallow any kind of crap."
The group arrives in New York City, bringing along a coffin containing a bassist who recently froze stiff in the cold. Quick to prey upon the Cowboys' golden talents, a promoter books them to perform at his cousin's wedding. In Mexico. He also informs them about "rock and roll," the music that Americans prefer. The group immediately buys some secondhand records and learns this new style.
They buy a giant black Cadillac (the junkyard dealer is Jarmusch himself) and hit the road for Mexico. On the way, they pass through the Deep South, playing bizarre gigs at rundown bars and clubs. Standards like "Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay," "Tequila" and "That's Alright, Mama" form the bulk of their repertoire. Their musicianship is reasonably solid, but the vocals are hopeless.
Most of the humor is provided by the band's shady manager Vladimir, who buys them onions for meals while hiding a private stockpile of beer. Igor, the village idiot from their homeland, adds some mirth as he haplessly trails the group, hoping to give them an oversized fish he caught.
"Leningrad Cowboys Go America" is short (78 minutes) and doesn't have much of an ending. Its humor is amusing rather than funny -- this is the sort of movie where you rarely laugh, but steadily smile. However, the tale has a unique, alien charm that balances its flaws.
Note to readers who shun foreign films: The band members do speak broken English, and subtitles are not required beyond the opening minutes.
July 17, 2011
Bizarre and just seriously amazing. One of the most weird, yet fun movies I've ever seen. Aki Kaurismäki is a genius! The Leningrad Cowboys are too awesome to be true. Definitely one of the most entertaining movies ever. Its also musically fun as well. So... stupidly.. rad. Can't forget that epic band opening of them playing (assumingly) Polyushko Polye. Damn!
January 18, 2014
Wasn't bad but wasn't funny either.
January 12, 2013
stupid humor but enough to make you laugh with also the politic implicits
October 9, 2013
A wonderful, brilliantly envisioned film. Beautifully surreal, yet so simple. There is almost no story or plot, and almost no characterisation. This is a road movie in the purest sense. It's all about the journey. The direction is great, the script minimal to the point of sparseness, and the views of the American landscape throughout are evocative and poignant. This should be on the curricula of every film school!
August 4, 2013
Well, what's there to say? You simply have to see this and make up your own mind.
Laugh out loud funny. My apologies to the neighbours!!
June 14, 2013
A brilliantly deadpan farce with a rockin' soundtrack.
May 23, 2013
I have a very dry sense of humor so this satisfies every bit of it.
January 28, 2013
A hilarious film that deserves more fame than The Blues Brothers. With this work Kaurismaki made a timeless comedy that will last for ages.
August 14, 2012
This movie is basically a Finnish approach to This is Spinal Tap.
May 15, 2012
A peculiar comedy about a group of empty-handed oxymoronic musicians who take on a ridiculous journey to find fame and fortune, this film established Kaurismaki as a director with a strange deadpan take on humor that can tickle the funny bones with the minimum of efforts.
November 4, 2011
One of the best comedies ever made. I've been a Kaurismaki fan for a while now, but this movie was always hard to track down. Criterion just put it out recently though. It's very clear that Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles used this as the template for Borat. They didn't plagiarize this, just were very clearly influenced. However, that SNL Christmas song that Jimmy Fallon used to do with Horatio and Kattan and Tracy is VERY plagiarized from a song in this movie. Anyway, watch this if you like deadpan, off-beat comedy. It's required viewing.
July 1, 2011
Check out the movie on youtube and see for yourself.
February 21, 2011
Leningrad Cowboys Go America celebrates the sadness without being too hard on itself. And the Humor is top-notch!!