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Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Directed by David Zellner
Stories mean everything to people. It’s a means of connecting to each other as well as ourselves. From social dications to fantastical narratives, stories permeate society and can be crushing, liberating, or isolating. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter is an odd, folksy fable about the chimerical Kumiko and the ontology of stories.
Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) is a recluse who cares only about her bunny Bunzo and the film Fargo. As she works as an office lady and steers clear of her coworkers, her obsession over Fargo grows. She becomes convinced that the briefcase of cash buried by a character is, in fact, real. She escapes the claustrophobic life in Japan, and travels to search for the briefcase in the Minnesota wilderness.
The cinematography is spectacular, perfectly polarizing Japan’s crampedness and Minnesota’s dusty waves of snow, »
- David Tran
Many delightful, haunting things happen in David and Nathan Zellner’s “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” which screens at SXSW 2014. One is that a duo of filmmaking brothers -- moving steadily toward the top of their game after a decade of turning out weird, unique short and feature films -- quote another duo of filmmaking brothers, who have been at the top of the their game for decades.In “Kumiko,” the young woman of the title (played with heartbreaking resilience by Rinko Kikuchi) lives in Japan, a depressed outsider who doesn’t fit in at her office job, where a domineering boss treats her as his servant and her co-workers giggle about their latest eye-lash perms. Kumiko has no boyfriend or partner, seemingly no friends (except her chubby pet rabbit), and a strained relationship with her mother, who we only hear nagging her over the phone. But Kumiko has an abundant »
- Beth Hanna
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix trilogy, The Day the Earth Stood Still) stars in a reimagining of one of Japan's timeless tales, 47 Ronin, available on Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs, DVD, Digital HD including UltraViolet and On Demand on April 1, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.­­­
Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its origins in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. Transformed into a thrilling, visually stunning 3D film by director Carl Rinsch, 47 Ronin tells the story of a small group of warriors, or ronin, on a quest to avenge the death of their master. Battling across a savage world of mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors, the ronin must seek help from Kai (Reeves), an enslaved half-breed they once rejected - in their ultimate fight for redemption. »
Here’s all the information you need to secure your copy of Keanu Reeves latest action adventure, 47 Ronin. If you need a refresher on the amazing warrior tale, here’s the trailer, followed by the official press release.
Trailer: 47 Ronin
Keanu Reeves Stars In The 3D Epic Action-Adventure 47 Ronin Be The First To Own It On Digital HD March 18, 2014 And Bring Home The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack Including Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD With Ultraviolet™ On April 1, 2014 Now Movie Fans Can Watch 47 Ronin Anywhere On Their Favorite Devices
Universal City, California, February 4, 2014— Keanu Reeves (The Matrix trilogy, The Day The Earth Stood Still) stars in a reimagining of one of Japan’s timeless tales, 47 Ronin, available on Blu-ray™ 3D and Blu-ray™ Combo Packs, DVD, Digital HD including UltraViolet™ and On Demand on April 1, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its »
- Jess Orso
★★★★☆Following on from 2012's Kid-Thing, a feverish tale about a destructive young girl operating freely beyond all moral boundaries, the Zellner brothers returns with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014). Perfectly pitched between lighthearted whimsy and all-out absurdity, the Zellners' latest is a forlorn tale about our obsession with storytelling and a deconstruction of the definition of a 'true story'. Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) lives a solitary life, sharing her tiny apartment with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. At work she's bullied by her boss and ignored by her co-workers, whilst all the time harangued by her domineering mother.
- CineVue UK
From the very moment David Zellner’s poignant drama Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter begins, the talented young filmmaker is playing with our perceptions, implementing a “this is a based on a true story” credit, only to then proceed into a fantastical, surrealistic universe of sorts, where, ironically, our titular character falls for that very same impression, taking the Coen brothers masterpiece Fargo on face value.
Rinko Kikuchi plays Kumiko, an introverted youngster, fed up of working in a dead-end job for a boss who undervalues her, and a mother who wants nothing more than to find her a husband. However Kumiko finds some hope in the form of a videotape, as she discovers a battered copy of Fargo buried under the sand. Unaware it’s a Hollywood production, she becomes transfixed by the scene when the briefcase of money is hidden in the snow, convinced it’s genuine treasure, still to be uncovered. »
- Stefan Pape
Sundance just ended, and we are already preparing for the next big film festival, South By Southwest. Not too long ago, the festival announced a few of the films premiering this year, but now they’ve announced the main slate. The midnight selections and some inevitable late-breaking additions are still to be announced, but this should be more than enough to get you excited. Along with many World Premieres, and Sundance favorites like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2, the line up also includes an anniversary screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and an extended Q&A screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel with Wes Anderson. SXSW 2014 runs March 7 through 15 in Austin, Texas. Check out the line up after the jump.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014. Films screening in Narrative »
Today the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced a diverse features lineup for this year’s Festival, the 21st edition and running March 7 – 15, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The 2014 program expands on SXSW tradition of embracing a range of genres and span of budgets, featuring a wealth of vision from experienced and developing filmmakers alike.
For more information visit http://sxsw.com/film.
Listed in the announcement are 115 of the features that will screen over the course of nine days at SXSW 2014. The lineup below includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, and consists of 76 World Premieres, 10 North American Premieres and 7 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 2,215 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,540 U.S. and 675 international feature-length films. With a record number of 6,482 submissions total, the overall increase was 14% over 2013. The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on February 5, with the complete »
- Movie Geeks
After announcing earlier this month that Jon Favreau’s Chef and the Veronica Mars movie will be making their world debuts at SXSW this year, the festival has revealed its full line-up, including further very promising world premieres, alongside appearances from some of the year’s most high-profile films.
The Midnight programme will be announced early next month, along with the Shorts line-up, and the complete Conference slate a little later as well.
Led by Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, Nicholas Stoller’s anticipated R-rated comedy, Neighbors, will be making its world debut at the festival, notably marked out as a ‘work-in-progress’ ahead of its theatrical release in May.
David Gordon Green’s acclaimed Joe will make its Us premiere, having bowed at Venice and then Toronto last year. Early reviews have Nicolas Cage giving one of the finest performances of his career, with Tye Sheridan (Mud) excellent alongside him. »
- Kenji Lloyd
Not sure if there is a Short Term 12 equivalent in this year’s Narrative Feature Comp, but on paper SXSW programmers are serving up a mean (and the usual lean group of 8 out of a whopping 1,324 film entries) for the upcoming competitiuon of eight which includes notable entries (that we’ve been tracking for a good time now) such as Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, John Magary’s The Mend, Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns and Lawrence Michael Levine’s Wild Canaries. Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated docs of the year, on the non-fiction side we find Margaret Brown’s The Great Invisible. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the other sections (notable world preems in We’ll Never Have Paris and Faults (see Mary Elizabeth Winstead above), some Sundance items with Texan connections and other nuggets.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight »
- Eric Lavallee
It may be a controversial statement, but this movie, that recently premiered at Sundance 2014, is better and maybe more enjoyable than Alejandro González Iñarritu's film of interconnected stories, Babel (I choose this one because it's the most recent of that genre that I remember watching and seeing something good in). Going into similar territory, all of the three stories around the three main characters are more interesting, more complex and more easily relatable than any of the stories in Iñarritu's film (except the story starring Rinko Kikuchi, if you made a film out of her story alone, that would be a masterpiece).I don't know if saying all this is high praise, but the movie itself is really good at portraying a small community where the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) is an "office lady" for a Japanese businessman who seems to only care about the way she prepares his tea. Skulking around, always gazing downward, Kumiko whiles away her time daydreaming about treasure hunting. Despite her gainful employment, Kumiko's financial situation in Tokyo is quite grim; and, at 29-years-old, Kumiko's hopes for marriage are rapidly diminishing. Who can blame her for believing that her destiny is to discover a buried fortune? After watching an old VHS tape of Fargo, which she unearths during a treason hunt, Kumiko sets off to North Dakota by way of Minnesota in search of the suitcase full of ransom money that Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) buried alongside a snowy, nondescript road towards the end of the film. While most of us understand that Fargo is fictional, Kumiko takes the opening text of the film -- "this is a true story" -- to heart. »
- Don Simpson
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the more recognized stops on the film festival circuit, a status that often sees it as the place for movies to make their North American and World premieres. With a number of intriguing and high-quality pictures screening over the course of the event, not every film that plays at the festival ends up securing a distribution deal. Here are ten films from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival that ended the event without a distributor, but ones we hope will make it to a general audience at some point, be it via theatres, instant streaming, VOD, or other means. The list is in alphabetical order.
1) 52 Tuesdays
The story of transgendered and transsexual individuals is one that movies and television have yet to explore thoroughly, with some notable exceptions. Thus, any story looking at such individuals, and the impact »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at Sundance.org/Live.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented by Tracy Chapman to:
Rich Hill / U.S.A. (Directors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) - In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented by Leonard Maltin to: Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) - Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons.
The World Cinema »
Photo by Dvrosa
It was another great year at the Sundance Film Festival! There were so many fantastic movies shown, and I still have a couple more to go. I'm really happy to say that Miles Teller and J.K. Simmon's film Whiplash took home the top two prizes, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. This was my number one favorite film from the festival, and it seems like everyone else at the festival loved it too, so it doesn't surprise me that it won.
Here's the full list of winners:
Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www.sundance.org/live.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was »
- Joey Paur
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash was Day 1 feel good buzz title of the fest that ultimately served as a measuring stick for the other competing 15 titles in the section and as predicted below had a good chance at doing what last year’s Fruitvale did: when both major awards of its category. Now that I’ve completed a 15 hour nap, I can watch the ceremony below – and you can spoil the suspense by simply going over the other award winners in the multiple categories below. Next week we’ll be publishing our interviews with several of the filmmakers mentioned below. Congrats to the winners and non-winners.
Park City, Ut — Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www. »
- Eric Lavallee
The Sundance Film Festival has come to a close in snowy Park City, Utah, and the institute has announced its winners for 2014. The big winner on the night was a film called Whiplash starring Miles Teller. The film picked up the big Grand Jury prize as well as the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Whiplash sees Teller as a young musician who struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer (see main pic).
Dramatic effort The Skeleton Twins which stars comedy stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in serious roles, won the Waldo Salt Screening Award for writers Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman, while the big directing award, went to Cutter Hodierne and his drama Fishing Without Nets, which revolves around a young father who turns to pirating in Somalia to support his family.
Here’s the full release with the complete list of the 2014 winners:
Park City, »
- Paul Heath
Having your film screen at the Sundance Film Festival is a dream for any filmmaker, but the experience can also wear you down. The rush of premiering your film to audiences at the most influential independent film festival in the world also comes with the stress of selling it to buyers, not to mention talking to endless rounds of press on little to no sleep. Read More: Oscar Nominee Rinko Kikuchi on Her Astonishing Performance As 'Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter' Taking a breather from the festival mere hours before tonight's awards ceremony, the Austin-based Zellner brothers (here with their well-received Grand Jury Prize contender "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter") -- along with some of their crew and Sundance's Director of Programming, Trevor Groth -- took the slopes here in Park City not to ski, but to ride the Alpine Coaster, and invited Indiewire along for the ride. Winding down more than »
- Nigel M Smith
Our desire that life should be more like it is in the movies beats at the heart of “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter,” a wonderfully strange and beguiling adventure story comprised of buried treasure, hand crafts, and a possibly unhealthy obsession with the Coen brothers. An ever-so-slight step closer to the mainstream by another sibling filmmaking team, indie veterans David and Nathan Zellner, made without compromising one iota of their fiercely original vision, this alternately spirited and sad adult fairy tale will surely baffle as many viewers as it enchants, but should ride appreciative reviews and a knockout central performance by Rinko Kikuchi to much fest and arthouse exposure.
With its Midwestern setting, its quixotic, fortune-seeking protagonist and the presence of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor as executive producers, “Kumiko” will inevitably draw some comparisons to Payne’s own recent “Nebraska,” though in actuality the Zellners have been trying to make »
- Scott Foundas
Since netting an Oscar nomination for her astonishing performance as a troubled deaf teenager in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Babel," Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi has remained active on the English language film front, appearing in Rian Johnson's crime caper "The Brothers Bloom," Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim" and "47 Ronin," opposite Keanu Reeves. At Sundance, Kikuchi is receiving some of the best reviews since her breakout turn for her lead performance in the Zellner brothers' oddball odyssey, "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter." In the narrative competition contender, set both in Japan and the U.S., Kikuchi plays Kumiko, a reclusive woman living in Tokyo whose only friend is her bunny rabbit Bunzo and who becomes convinced that the satchel of money buried in the Coen brothers' classic "Fargo" is, in fact, real. Using her boss' credit card, Kumiko books a flight to the Minnesota wilderness to embark on a quest to find the hidden treasure. »
- Nigel M Smith
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