Last eve, Amplify Releasing and The Cinema Society hosted the New York premiere of the Sundance award-winning film, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter at the MoMA. The film stars Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi as Kumiko, a jaded Japanese woman who discovers a VHS copy of the film Fargo and mistakenly believes the 1996 movie is a documentary. Obsessed with finding Steve Buscemi’s fictional character’s hidden treasure, Kumiko travels halfway across the globe from Tokyo to Minnesota to embark on a hasty quest and retrieve the money-filled suitcase buried deep within the frozen tundra. Follow that?
The film, which hits theaters next week, follows the eerie urban legend of a Japanese woman named Takako Konishi who was allegedly locating the “lost” money from Fargo and was ultimately found dead in Minnesota. Directors, actors, and brothers Nathan Zellner and David Zellner were intrigued by the idea of a real person obsessing over a fictional treasure and decided to convert the woman’s story into a feature film. We asked them what it was like working with the furry film star, Bunzo the rabbit. “It was fantastic! He was a very professional actor,” joked Rinko, who was dressed in a one of a kind toga-esque frock. After the screening, the film stars did a small Q&A with the crowd which included model Alexandria Morgan, Norman Reedus, Parker Posey, Oh Land, Zabryna Guevara, Nolan Gerard Funk, and Lindsay Ellingson. The Zellner brothers discussed the challenging obstacles they endured while filming the movie in freezing temperatures to casting the perfect hairy companion for Rinko’s character. “Making this movie was a treasure hunt because it took so long,” said Nathan. Afterwards, guests headed off to hotspot Beautique where they enjoyed special Qui Tequila cocktails dubbed “Fargo Fusion” and “Buried Treasure” as homages to the film. Happy treasure hunting to all! BY ALMENDRA PEREZ