|KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER (director/writer: David Zellner; screewriter: Nathan Zellner; cinematographer: Sean Porter; editor: Melba Jodorowsky; music: the Octopus Project; cast: Rinko Kikuchi (Kumiko), Nobuyuki Katsube (Sakagami), Kanako Higashi (Michi), Kyokaku Ichi (Library Security Guard), Ayaka Ohnishi (Chieko), Mayuko Kawakita (Ms. Kanazaki), David Zellner (Deputy); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Nathan Zellner, Cameron Lamb, Chris Ohlson, Andrew Banks, Jim Burke; Amplify; 2014-in English and Japanese, with English subtitles)|
|"A wonderfully accessible indie
dark comic tale about movie obsessions."
by Dennis Schwartz
wonderfully accessible indie dark comic tale about
movie obsessions, earnestly directed by David Zellner
("Kid-Thing"/"Goliath"/"Frontier"). It's co-written by
David and his brother Nathan. The fable is
based on a real incident that's embellished into this
fictional narrative. The U.S. part of the film was
shot in the same parts of rural Minnesota where the Coen
Brothers filmed Fargo.
A withdrawn young Japanese woman, Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi), residing with her rabbit Bunzo in a tiny cluttered apartment in Tokyo, is obsessed with the Coen Brothers film Fargo. Her only thrill in life seems to be viewing on a grainy VHS tape the Coen Brothers' black comedy thriller Fargo.
works in an office, where her boss calls her "Office
Lady" and treats her as a lost cause. Her mom calls
her frequently, but only to browbeat her. Kumiko
stands apart from others only because of her bright
red hooded jacket and her vivid imagination.
Kumiko is mesmerized by Fargo's opening scene of a briefcase with loot being thrown away in the snow field. Not realizing the movie is fiction, even if based on a true story, Kumico ventures to America to visit the wintry location where Fargo was shot in order to search for the loot. She tries to get by speaking a broken English, explaining that her destiny is tied to this treasure hunt.
intense and mannered performance makes the
tragic story both credible and somewhat surreal, as
the mentally unstable foreigner wanders in the North
Country's harsh wintry hinterlands in only a parka and
sneakers and faces the consequences of such a foolish
result is a hauntingly lyrical film, that resonates as
a strangely touching story about someone you care for.
REVIEWED ON 1/1/2016 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ