Watch It Now!: “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter”

Kumiko.The_.Treasure.Hunter.2014.1080p.BluRay.x264.YIFY_Jul-8-2015-23.24.56Released earlier this year, after debuting back in 2014’s Sundance Film Festival and kicking it around the global festival circuit, David Zellner’s Kumiko the Treasure Hunter is a gorgeous and intriguingly remote fable with bizarre elements inspired by true events. After finding a tattered VHS copy of Fargo on a beach, Kumiko becomes obsessively convinced that the depicted cash-loaded briefcase buried in the snow is real and sets out across the globe to retrieve it.

Kumiko is a subdued showcase for star Rinko Kikuchi, getting to show an even more acute sense of isolation than we’ve witness in her Oscar-nominated turn in Babel. As the surroundings become more claustrophobic and disorienting, Kikuchi keeps us invested by pushing Kumiko’s resolve. Call it insanity or mental clarity, Kikuchi just drives forward.

Under Zellner and lenser Sean Porter, the film hosts consistently absorbing visuals, enhancing Kumiko’s emotional solitude with a scope surprising to the film’s modest intentions. Awarded at Sundance, the score from The Octopus Project keeps the tension high with dizzying effects, cuing us in to Kumiko’s quietly bubbling rage.

It’s a unique film that builds its own aura of myth with all of these elements and gives us a sterling performance from an actress we get too little of stateside.

Kumiko the Treasure Hunter is available now on Amazon Prime!

Happy Halloween from filmmixtape!

Happy Halloween, everyone!


While I’ve been spending my week with Beetlejuice and The Addams Family (come back, Angelica!) and giving you spooky posts here and here, my viewing today will be with Truth, and later some Universal classics.

Lost for what to watch tonight? Naturally, I’m here with a suggestion!

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Hello Again, Mr. Dolan

The details have been popping up about the return of Adele for the past few months, the internet waiting with baited breath especially in the past week or so as the new single “Hello” has been teased. But the thing that stopped me in my tracks, slipped into reports without fanfare, is the man behind the director’s chair for the video: Xavier Dolan.

Yes, we the fans of the singer are ravenous for the album to arrive, but I’m equally excited for the arrival of the director into as many eyeballs as possible.

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Watch It Now!: “Short Term 12”

What to Watch Now will be on ongoing recommendation series here at filmmixtape. Our first in the series is a staple on Netflix and chances are I’ve already given you a breathless recommendation and demanded you watch it immediately. The films spends a few days in a short-term care facility for troubled youths, detailing the struggles of the residents and their caretakers. Refreshingly honest and believable, this one sticks.

You’ll certainly be hearing about Short Term 12 thanks to what is, by first reports, another major performance from Brie Larson in Room. Indeed, her performance in 12 remains as fully realized and lived-in on multiple viewings as it does on first discovery. You can see how she’s be a natural fit for Room‘s Ma, given her ability to portray deep inner complexity wordlessly and her natural warmth and skill working with young actors.


But this isn’t a film about just one performance. It has a major debut from Keith Stanfield (recently of Straight Outta Compton and Selma), whose introverted performance brings the film’s centerpiece: a life’s worth of backstory in a brief rap “So You Know What It’s Like.” It’s one of the film’s many heartbreaks, one of the many moments of voices often unheard or ignored getting to voice their experience.

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