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Friday, April 11 @ Texas Theatre
Saturday, April 12 @ Texas Theatre

Kumiko is a lonely, withdrawn Japanese woman seeking adventure. She loathes her job and her mother calls often, nagging at her for still being single. After discovering an old VHS tape of the film FARGO, Kumiko, played by Academy Award winning actress Rinko Kikuchi, spends hours watching and rewatching it in her small Tokyo flat. Eventually she convinces herself that the briefcase of money Steve Buscemi’s character buries in North Dakota is actually real. And so, with her hand-sewn maps and a fresh DVD in hand, she sets out to America on a quest for mythical treasure.

Directors Nathan and David Zellner return to DIFF with KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, a fantastic and dreamy film years in the making. Their unique style and humor is beautifully played against the structured Tokyo and barren, cold Ameerican wilderness. Kumiko will stop at nothing to reach this uncharted place in her mind, and the journey will push her to new limits.

95446595721507823DIFF: How did the idea for KUMIKO come about, especially the idea of having a film within a film?

Nathan Zellner: The original seed for the film started in late 2001 when an urban legend circulated online about a woman traveling from Japan to Minnesota looking for the mythical fortune from the film. At the time there was no information or background and we were so captivated by someone going on a modern-day treasure hunt that we started creating our own backstory: what would lead someone to this situation?

DIFF: Why is she willing to make a journey to a far away land based on a hunch?

NZ: This idea of someone going on an expedition for mythical treasure is very antiquated, it is something that drove explorers during the age of exploration. The passion to seek out the unknown can be very compelling, she is just as driven by this contemporary legend as any other explorer might be.

DIFF: The music of Austin-based Octopus Project sets the tone throughout the film. Were you a fan prior to shooting?

NZ: We’ve been friends and collaborators with The Octopus Project for a long time now. We’ve always enjoyed their music, and it’s been a wonderful experience working with them. We like to blend our sound design and music so that one flows into the other seemlessly. We started working with The Octopus Project early on in the process, their music helped our edit and vice versa. They got the tone we were going for and really helped enhance the film.

DIFF: There is also quite a bit of lore surrounding the mysterious, shining briefcase in PULP FICTION. Might it also be out there somewhere?

NZ: Who knows. Thank you very much!


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