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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 <email@example.com>
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Aki Kaurismäki's entertaining film portrays the Leningrad Cowboys (a real-life Finnish rock band) as a down and out Russian rock band under the tutelage of a corrupt Russian manager (Matti Pelonpää) who takes them on a journey to America in search of success and money.
Along the way the band hits all sorts of bumps in the road which often places them in ridiculous situations. Kaurismäki films in dark and tired looking locations and draws from American jazz traditions.
The film is really a Finnish parody of the Soviet Union and the tired and stolid bureaucracy which dominated it. Take note of the proliferation of tractors in the opening scenes, suppossedly a symbol of the power and triumph of the workers state.
Don't look for an overriding political message in the film however. It's best to sit back and enjoy the unusual style of Finnish humor and Kaurismäki's subtle approach to story-telling.
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