Director Zachary Heinzerling / 2013 / USA

Winner of the Directing Award: US Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Octogenarian alcoholic Ushio Shinohara is an action artist who punches paint onto canvasses with boxing gloves. His early work gained notoriety in Japan but his career failed to gain traction after moving to New York in 1969. Ushio's much younger wife, Noriko, is also an artist but sidelined her own work for decades in order to be Ushio's devoted assistant. Now, with their son fully grown and Ushio finally sober, Noriko is finding recognition for her own work: an autobiographical comic creation named Cutie and Bullie that charts the tensions of their relationship.

Cutie and the Boxer director Zachary Heinzerling spent five years with this adorably eccentric and vivacious odd couple, compiling an exhilarating warts-and-all document of their chaotic 40-year marriage, and following them as they prepare for their first joint exhibition. Quirky, funny and uplifting, it is ultimately a charming portrait of commitment: to art and to love.

"With the timing of a comedy duo exchanging barbs, the macho, self-absorbed Ushio and the elegant, independent-minded Noriko are delightful company in this intimate exploration of life and art." - Hollywood Reporter

Screens on 27 July with You Know What? I Love You.

D Zachary Heinzerling P Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Patrick Burns, Sierra Pettengill Dist Madman Entertainment L Japanese, English w/English subtitles TD DCP/2013

Back To Index