“Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter” Travels To Los Angeles & New York

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter - Photo courtesy of Sean Porter
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter doesn’t possess a narrative that’s chock full of exposition but instead opts for a more sublime form of communication. Director David Zellner’s story of a Japanese woman’s (Oscar nominated actress Rinko Kukuchi) determined quest for a buried suitcase filled with cash is a visual and aural feast, giving us an immersive, open-ended journey into ambiguity.

Zellner and cinematographer Sean Porter paint Kumiko’s excursion into snow bound Minnesota with a picaresque, epic eye. But life isn’t all wide open spaces for our protagonist, as the filmmakers also show Kumiko constrained world in her cramped, Tokyo apartment.

As a frustrated office worker dwarfed in an all consuming metropolis, Kumiko hungers for an entirely new adventure. Even if her explorations take a toll on her loved ones (including her rabbit Bunzo) and maybe even a bit of her sanity, Kumiko is determined to find, as one title card in the film suggests, the “new world.”

Rinko Kikuchi in "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter." Photo: Sean Porter
Rinko Kikuchi in “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.” Photo: Sean Porter

During my interview with David Zellnerhe talked about his collaboration with Porter and using the ARRI ALEXA (as well as spherical and anamorphic lenses) to shoot Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, now playing in New Yorkopens today in Los Angeles (Nuart Theatre), Brooklyn (Bam Rose Cinemas), and Seattle (SIFF Cinemas).

***I’ll be posting a review of Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter this weekend as well as more clips from my interview with David Zellner.