Retrospective, Finland / Sweden 1989, 78 Min., engl., finn. OV, germ. st, FSK 12
Somewhere in the tundra, the worst band in the world stages a concert. Perfectly styled from their oversized quiff hairdos to their exaggerated winklepicker shoes, they nonetheless fail to attract audiences or entertain any hope of commercial success. Egged on by their shady manager, the Leningrad Cowboys decide to try their luck in the USA – where “people will buy anything”. But there, too, the band’s Finnish polka music arouses little interest. The only gig that promises any hope of success is playing a wedding in Mexico. So in New York, they buy a luxury Cadillac befitting their station in life and set out for the “wild” West. Aki Kaurismäki’s road movie is also a musical satire of émigré films. As cheerful as it is melancholy, his film gives us a narrative of successful assimilation into the prevailing cultural standards, namely rock and roll, and mariachi music.
Director Aki Kaurismäki
Screenplay Sakke Järvenpää, Aki Kaurismäki, Mato Valtonen
Cast Sakke Järvenpää, Heikki Keskinen, Pimme Korhonen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Puka Oinonen, Silu Seppälä, Mauri Sumén, Mato Valtonen, Pekka Virtanen (The Leningrad Cowboys), Kari Väänänen
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No screenings are available for this film.