Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)

The Zellner brothers’ latest feature owes a considerable debt to the Coen brothers’ Fargo. That film primarily serves as narrative impetus; discovered (somewhat improbably) as a waterlogged VHS relic, it stirs the fantasist impulses of Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) and sends her on a journey in search of ‘hidden treasure’ – the cash-laden suitcase buried by…

In Order of Disappearance (2014)

“If Norwegian kids disappear, there’s always some obnoxious parent out looking for them.” The “Norwegian kid” of In Order of Disappearance is one Ingvar Dickman, an airport employee who meets a grisly end after getting on the wrong side of a gang of drug dealers. The “obnoxious parent” is his father, Nils (Stellan Skarsgård): Citizen…

No Country for Old Men (2007) – A Defence

Lincoln Flynn’s recent essay argues that No Country for Old Men’s primary aim is to analyse the thematically significant perspective of Sheriff Bell, but that the film’s tonal disparity limits its artistic success: I don’t agree that the shift in tone is a shortcoming. NCFOM is a faithful adaptation of McCarthy’s novel, leaving the Coens’…

Fargo Poster

Fargo (1996)

“Say, Lou, didya hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalised plates, so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?” “Yah, that’s a good one.” Fargo concerns a convoluted kidnapping plot filled with misunderstandings, mayhem and the occasional murder, and the film tells its story simply, without bold flourishes, letting the story…