The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 35 – Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys

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This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor discuss Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys.

About the films:

In the late eighties, Aki Kaurismäki, a master of the deadpan, fashioned a waggish fish-out-of-water tale about a U.S. tour by “the worst rock-and-roll band in the world.” Leningrad Cowboys Go America’s posse of fur-coated, outrageously pompadoured hipsters struck such a chord with international audiences that the fictional band became a genuine attraction, touring the world. Later, Kaurismäki created a sequel, Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses,and filmed a gigantic outdoor concert that the band put on in Helsinki, for the rollicking documentary Total Balalaika Show. With this Eclipse series, we present all three crackpot musical and comic odysseys, along with five Leningrad Cowboys music videos also directed by Kaurismäki.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS or in iTunes.

Buy The Box Set On Amazon:

Leningrad Cowboys Box

Episode Links

Aki Kaurismäki

The Criterion Collection

The Match Factory

Senses of Cinema

Film Comment interview

The Guardian interview

Leningrad Cowboys

Official Band Site / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

SpotifyDiscogs / Setlist / AllMusic

Box Set Reviews

David’s Journey Through the Eclipse Series review

Criterion Confessions review by Jamie S. Rich

DVD Verdict review by Gordon Sullivan

PopMatters review by Jose Solis

Slant Magazine review by Bill Weber

Cine Outsider review by Slarek (UK release)

Leningrad Cowboys Go America

New York Times review by Vincent Canby

Washington Post review by Hal Hinson (1991)

Spirituality and Practice review by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat

Not Coming to a Cinema Near You review by Tina Hassannia

Lenin Imports review

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses

Variety review by David Stratton

Lenin Imports review

Total Balalaika Show

Lenin Imports review

Full original concert (1′ 48″) on YouTube

Next time on the podcast: Eclipse Series 40: Late Ray 

Contact us

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections

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