Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter 2014

Directed by David Zellner Fresh

Inspired by an urban legend that was itself inspired by the Coen brothers’ Fargo, filmmaking brothers David and Nathan Zellner have crafted a quixotic adventure story as beguiling as it is wondrously strange.

Aug 26

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Sep 07

Lido Hamilton

In Your Wishlist
United States In English and Japanese with English subtitles
104 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
G (cert)

Director

Producers

Nathan Zellner
,
Cameron Lamb
,
Chris Ohlson
,
Andrew Banks
,
Jim Burke

Screenplay

David Zellner
,
Nathan Zellner

Photography

Sean Porter

Editor

Melba Jodorowsky

Production designers

Ota Kikuo
,
Chad Keith

Costume designers

Tony Crosbie
,
Kiersten Ronning

Music

The Octopus Project

With

Rinko Kikuchi (Kumiko)
,
Nathan Zellner (Robert)
,
David Zellner (deputy)
,
Katsube Nobuyuki (Mr Sakagami)
,
Shirley Venard (old woman)

Festivals

Sundance
,
Berlin
,
SXSW
,
San Francisco 2014

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Elsewhere

Inspired by an urban legend that was itself inspired by the Coen brothers’ jest that their black comedy classic Fargo was based on a true story, another team of filmmaking brothers, David and Nathan Zellner, have crafted a quixotic adventure story as beguiling as it is wondrously strange. Oscar-nominated Kikuchi Rinko (Babel, Norwegian Wood) stars as the misfit Kumiko. A shy Tokyo office worker, she is demeaned by her bullying boss and perky younger co-workers while being constantly nagged by her busybody mother. Seeking an escape, she becomes fixated on a worn videotape of Fargo and is convinced that the suitcase full of ransom money buried in the snow by Steve Buscemi’s hapless kidnapper is real and waiting to be rediscovered.

“With a true believer’s fervor, Kumiko will get herself to the impossibly distant, exotic land of North Dakota – barriers of language, money, sufficient winter clothing and reality be damned. Her quest is as pure as it is, seemingly, insane. Whatever one might have expected next from the unpredictable Zellner brothers, this wasn’t it: A nearly plotless, frequently wordless road trip narrative, their absurdist humor boiled down to a cryptic, exquisite minimalism. It’s peopled with characters (including ones played by the siblings themselves) whose very human warmth is only heightened by Kumiko’s impenetrable oddity.” — Dennis Harvey, San Francisco International Film Festival

“A wonderfully weird – and ultimately compassionate – vamp on the power of fantasy and obsession that crosses international datelines.” — Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Bay Guardian