On DVD this week from director Zachary Heinzerling, Radius TWC and Anchor Bay Entertainment comes the amazing story of CUTIE AND THE BOXER.
This film tells the story a young 19-year-old Noriko who came to New York for her art. While there she meets 41-year-old avant-garde artist Ushio Shinohara. They marry and Noriko supports her husbands’ work while putting her own to the side.
The documentary catches up with Ushio who is now 80 years old and once again showing his boxing paintings. Noriko has taken to drawing with “Cutie and Bullie” in a series that tells the story of their relationship.
Living from paintings and selling cardboard sculptures it is a life most will never know.
FINAL WORD: This truly is such an interesting look at the life of two distinct artists who happened to be married. With the obvious love of her husband, Noriko willingly puts aside her art to be supportive. Watching her attempt to make deals in order to have the finances to pay the rent and continue to make art is brilliant but also heart tugging.
Watching Noriko put their life in a series of drawings also seems to allow her to tell the truth of her own hidden feelings about it all. With paint she shows the viewer all her hopes, fears, realities and wishes that have been trapped and now live in each stroke of her brush.
Living a life with an alcoholic husband and raising a child it all leaves a mark on their son Alex when he gets older and drinks as well. It is a tale of woe, a tale of selfishness, a tale of happiness and of love. Basically, it is the story of their life as artists and human beings.
The DVD also comes in Blu-ray with deleted scenes, Shinohara: The Last Artist by Rod McHall, Q&A At The Sundance Film Festival and Action is Art: A Study of Ushio Shinohara’s Boxing Painting.
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading home entertainment company. They acquire feature films, original television programming including STARZ original series, children’s entertainment, anime, fitness, sports and other entertainment for viewers.
Radius-TWC is the first studio dedicated to VOD and theatre distribution of films like BACHLORETTE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES and 20 FEET FROM STARDOM. In the coming year the films BLUE RUIN, THE UNKNOWN KNOW and HORNS starring Daniel Radcliffe will become available for viewers.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CUTIE AND THE BOXER three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This documentary is so endearing in every sense of the word. From the story of how these two individuals met to where there lives are in this film it is amazing.
I enjoyed Ushio but see quite clearly that he is very self-involved leaving much of the responsibility to his wife. What draws me in more is Noriko’s opening up her life in the work she is creating. To experience her humbleness and talent kept me watching. When she finally had four walls in a gallery to make her drawings come alive I was thrilled for her!
That being said it is an artists’ life they have created together and have done so for over forty years. With the combination of love and art, it doesn’t seem possible that they will ever be apart.
In the end – it is sacrifice of love and art!