Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)
May 22, 2024 12:53 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] An enthusiastic Siberian rock 'n' roll band, The Leningrad Cowboys, journeys to New York with their manager and a dead member who froze to death before his dreams of success could be realized. They land a gig in Mexico, and the band, including the dead member strapped to the top of their Cadillac, drives there through the country that birthed rock music, meeting various characters along the road to success. Meanwhile, a crazed fan from home chases them down.

Starring Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänänen, Sakke Järvenpää, Heikki Keskinen, Pimme Korhonen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Puka Oinonen, Silu Seppälä, Mauri Sumén, Mato Valtonen, Pekka Virtanen, Nicky Tesco.

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki. Screenplay by Aki Kaurismäki. Story by Sakke Järvenpää, Aki Kaurismäki, Mato Valtonen. Produced by Aki Kaurismäki, Klas Olofsson, Katinka Faragó for Villealfa Filmproductions/Svenska Filminstitutet. Cinematography by Timo Salminen. Edited by Raija Talvio. Music by Mauri Sumén. A Finnish/Swedish production, primarily in English.

100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (though only six reviews).

Currently streaming in the US on Criterion. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I bet that's more umlauts than you've ever used in a post before!

We saw this recently and loved it. I love the simplicity of Kaurismäki's direction, and his deadpan sense of humor really works for me. It was interesting to see slices of the US from his perspective as well.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:07 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]

Personally I refuse to see a movie where the cast and crew have fewer than twenty äs in their name among them.
posted by praemunire at 2:24 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

I remember this as being enjoyable, though it has kind of faded into a blur with other late-80s / early-90s indie movies that for some reason feature a road trip and transportation of a dead body or parts thereof (for example..)

Which I guess is a thing having some limited revival? Or did it never really go away?
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:13 PM on May 22

Or did it never really go away?

The Leningrad Cowboys never die.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:30 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]

I am delighted to see that the Restaurant Zetor "Dining Leningrad Cowboys go America Style" is still around. If you are in Helsinki and are in the mood for that Soviet era tractor factory feel - then this is the place to go.
posted by rongorongo at 3:16 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]

I bet that's more umlauts than you've ever used in a post before!

It probably is! I've used plenty of ț ș î ê í ì â á and à but not so much umlauts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:10 AM on May 23

Everyone's a diacritic.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:30 AM on May 23 [7 favorites]

"I wonder when the violence starts. You always get murdered when you go to New York."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:47 PM on May 24

This film was a blast. It's also a unique time capsule of the USA, because as opposed to using sets, Kaurismäki was going to real bars, barber shops, etc. to do his shooting. Watching this made the '80s seem more...old fashioned?...than they do in a lot of other films of the era, because it lacks the shininess. Loved it and would watch again.
posted by rednikki at 9:04 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

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