Aki Kaurismäki

Total Balalaika Show

Total Balalaika Show

Aki Kaurismäki’s film of the Leningrad Cowboys’ massive concert in Helsinki’s Senate Square with the 150-member Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble is a loving tribute to the rock band he made famous. Seventy thousand people turned out for this megaspectacle; featuring musical selections from Sibelius to Bob Dylan, it crossed genre and national divides. Also included on this disc are the Leningrad Cowboys music videos “Rocky VI,” “Thru the Wire,” “L.A. Woman,” “Those Were the Days,” and “These Boots.”

Film Info

  • Finland
  • 1994
  • 57 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • English, Russian

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys

Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys

DVD Box Set

3 Discs


Total Balalaika Show
The Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble
Twist-Twist Erkinharju
The Leningrad Cowboys
Ben Granfelt
Sakke Järvenpää
Jore Marjaranta
Ekke Niiva
Pemo Ojala
Silu Seppälä
Mauri Sumén
Mato Valtonen
Aki Kaurismäki
Assistant director
Erkki Astala
Heikki Ortamo
Timo Linnasalo
Jouko Lumme


Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys
Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys
Hair, There, and Everywhere Are the Leningrad Cowboys for real? With pointy pompadours reaching to impossible heights above their expressionless faces and needlelike winklepicker shoes that could have been torn from the feet of oversize elves, they m…

By Michael Koresky

Janus Films Acquires Kaurismäki’s Latest
Janus Films Acquires Kaurismäki’s Latest
We’re pleased to announce that Janus Films has picked up the North American rights to Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre, which, as you may have heard, premiered to much acclaim in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI (the…


Aki Kaurismäki


Aki Kaurismäki

Even if he weren’t the world’s most famous Finnish filmmaker, Aki Kaurismäki’s singular place in cinema would be ensured by his distinctive and effortless mix of scalpel-sharp comedy, pitch-dark (The Match Factory Girl) or slapstick (Leningrad Cowboys Go America), with warm humanism. He started working in movies as his older brother Mika’s codirector, then struck out on his own with an adaptation of Crime and Punishment (1983). With his Proletariat Trilogy—Shadows in Paradise (1986), Ariel (1988), and The Match Factory Girl (1990), which find humor or romance in even the most desperate situations—and his zany musical comedies starring the fictional band the Leningrad Cowboys, Kaurismäki became a beloved figure in international film circles. The sardonic inventiveness of the former and the unexpected hipster hilarity of the latter confirmed him as an uncommon master, and his influence has been felt in works by the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson. Kaurismäki has continued to delight audiences with such films as the Oscar-nominated The Man Without a Past (2003) and Le Havre (2011), which evince his social commitment as well as his fluency in visual storytelling.

Read Kaurismäki’s Top 10.