Monday, March 15, 2004

Clearing out the Deadwood
In times of turmoil, dismay, major political upheavals, snow in March, and 5 mile traffic delays on the PA Tpke due to major road repairs, a person has to turn to topics of inconsequential but (personally) weighty matters. Either that or hold on tightly with your grubby fingers to the ledge that's just over the edge of reality.
The 3/11 Madrid Massacre has, in some large measure, brought on the exit of the Bush-supporting Spanish government. Now the Socialists are in; it won't be any major length of time before the Spanish forces in Iraq are back sunning themselves in the land of late night tapas and early morning ocean dips. As the situation in Iraq further taxes our resources (and will tax our future income, no matter what economic concoction the current administration is brewing up) and as our "allies" start bidding their adieus from the party in Baghdad, it will be necessary to (at least temporarily) take a vacation from the unpleasantries of reality.

In the Jim Jarmusch mode, I suggest that your short suspension of doom and gloom be spent in the company of cowboys, specifically Leningrad Cowboys. If you have seen (as previously strongly recommended in this blog) Mr. Jarmusch's "Night on Earth, you may have been in a deep funk afterwards, thinking that the thespian skills of one Matti Pellonpaa were limited to just that film. You may have assumed that your enjoyment of his low-key Finnish fatalistic mumblings would be limited to replaying the movie until your VCR died in mid-mumble.
Fear not.

"Leningrad Cowboys Go to America" is available (somewhere out there) for that hit of Pellonpaa you need to get through these times. You'll even get to see the acting stylings of Jim Jarmusch, the musical hooks of Duke Robillard, and hairstylings that only Lyle Lovett could have concocted. In fact, I was sure that he was one of the Cowboys, just credited in the films as...I think it was Miki Lovettuuuni.
The film has a plot...although it's more a burial plot than a straight story line. It has music, it has limited color, it has the combined atmosphere of Finnish alcohol-fueled despair and dirt-blowing-in-your-face in Texas desperation. It's "Last Picture Show" meets "Seventh Seal" meets "It came from Outer Space".
This is also one of the films in my list, Wheat from Chaff Separators: Films to cull your film posse to single digits. It joins such luminary films as
"Devils of Loudon"
"Repo Man"
and "Six String Samurai"

Possibly non-fictitious Leningrad Cowboys concert dates are avaialble at End of Doomsday. Imagine the possibilities; forget the current impossibililties.

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