Cyberlizard goes to the movies
Following the success of the off-beam road movie about the incompetent Russian band the Leningrad Cowboys, Aki Kaurismäki decided to push on with a sequel, a sort of road movie in reverse.
The sequel finds the Leningrad Cowboys in a bad place. They were poised to achieve greater success by going on Mexican TV, when the group discovered tequila which wiped over half of them out and drove the rest into destitution and living a semi-native existence in the desert, the suits having been exchanged for Mexican cowboy gear. Vladimir, their despotic manager (played by the late Matti Pellonpää) has disappeared and the village mute does all the work for them. They leave Mexico for New York to play yet another dead-end and low-paid gig (for snacks), where they encounter Vladimir again, now dressed in black with a long flowing beard (but still bearing the characteristic quiff) and calling himself Moses, proclaiming that his mission is to bring them back to their people and that they must obey him in everything. What follows is a road trip back to Europe and Siberia, pursued by a CIA agent after Moses removes the nose from the Statue of Liberty.
This film takes the deadpan humour of the original and stretches it to limits (not vulgar, just bizarre) that probably aren't everyone's cup of tea. However it still has its moments, especially with some of the rubbish gigs.
Total Balalaika Party followed, but I suspect the cinematic glory days of the band are now passed, despite their enduring appeal as a barmy take on world music.
To get some idea of what you may be letting yourself in for, try the following links:
Cowboys Official Homesite
Unofficial Leningrad Cowboys Fan Club
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