Leningrad Cowboys Go America
Kaurismäki’s cheerfully slapdash, cartoon-like road movie involves a band from ‘somewhere in the Tundra’ that winds up playing all over the U.S.
Kaurismäki transformed a Finnish band, Sleepy Sleepers, into the fictitious but wonderfully eccentric Cowboys, who fall foul of Soviet officialdom but head for America where "they’ll take anything." With a title inspired by The Marx Bros Go West, the film is the director’s funniest, thanks largely to Matti Pellonpää’s droll performance as the band’s manager. Jim Jarmusch crops up as a used car salesman.
– David Stratton, Retrospective Curator
A road comedy so laid back and so cool that to laugh out loud at it would seem to be hopelessly square. – Vincent Canby, New York Times
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