You see what I did with the title of this post? I hope you did. I did it for you.
When I first heard of the documentary, Cutie and the Boxer, my ignorant ass said, “Oh! I love sports documentaries! This should be great!” But alas, the movie is not about a boxer, but about Ushio and Noriko Shinohara who are not only husband and wife, but two artists living under the same roof. Ushio, now 80 years old gained, notoriety in the ’70s as a “boxing” painter in the super hip modern art scene — and still remains relevant today. Noriko, helped him as an “assistant” throughout the years, but has still tried to step out of his shadow as an artist, putting her work on hold to be help her husband with his art, raise a son, be a good wife, and maintain a household. The result is a fantastic documentary that not only pumps life and insight back into today’s modern art world, but paints a heartfelt picture of the struggles and triumphs of a 40 year marriage. Director Zachary Heinzerling does a stunning job of telling their story using a combination of interviews, old video footage, and their art that will make you fall in love with Ushio and Noriko 15 minutes into the film.
The movie is sitting high at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Take their (and my) word for it. Go watch the movie:
Slyly comments on the ironies of the past half century in contemporary art.
-Peter Keough, Boston Globe
A movie that makes you feel less like a spectator than a guest, a friend welcomed into the home of an odd and fascinating couple.
-A.O. Scott, New York Times
Viewed in its entirety, “Cutie and the Boxer” is more than a great documentary. It’s a great film.
-Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“Cutie and the Boxer” is one of the most unsentimental and unstinting portraits of marriage ever brought to the screen …
-Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
Heinzerling combines Noriko’s drawings with contemporary footage to create a story that isn’t only a tale of creative minds, but an honest love story.
-Jeremy Mathews, Paste Magazine
Cutie and the Boxer opens in theaters and is available on VOD today.