Those Were The Days (1992)

Original Title : Those Were the Days
Director : Aki Kaurismäki
Writer : Aki Kaurismäki
Genre : Short
Country : Finland
Language : Music Only
Producer : Aki Kaurismäki
IMDB ID : 0105580
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poster for "Those Were The Days" by Aki Kaurismäki (1992)
Those Were The Days (1992) - Aki Kaurismäki


The Leningrad Cow Boys 


Paris, 1994, night: as the Leningrad Cowboys sing "Those were the days," a solitary man leading a donkey is turned away at a restaurant door. He and the beast walk down to La Maison du Vin where, despite a "no donkeys" sign on the wall, they enter and he proceeds to feed the donkey with provisions from his pack. His care and feeding of the donkey impress the woman who sings with the house band. She and the visitor connect, but if they slip away, who will watch the burro? The visitor's shoes and most everyone's hair, except the donkey's, points forward.


Surreal Kaurismaki "music video" Supposedly set in "Paris, 1994" (the Eiffel Tower is also seen in the background) a man (with the "reverse ducktail" hairstyle of the Leningrad Cowboys - hair sticking a foot and a half in front of their face - and their two foot boots with the curled toes) and his donkey are refused admission to the bar "La Maison du Vin". The bartender points to a sign picturing a donkey with an "X" through it. The Leningrad Cowboys are playing the song in the bar. A blonde woman sings a verse (this is the actress Kirsi Tykkylainen, who sings the song in the concert film TOTAL BALALAIKA SHOW. She also picks up the escapee at the end of THRU THE WIRE). She has the same "reverse ducktail" hairstyle as the group, as does a dog in the bar - which cracked me up completely! She takes the man's hand at the end of the song and the piece ends with the bar owner petting the donkey. Surreal - and classic Kaurismaki.