The annual Grierson Awards, named after legendary British documentarian John Grierson, returned to the capital on Monday evening at the Southbank Centre. Dogwoof were pleased to be representing three acclaimed features in competition - the Bafta-winning The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer and The Man Whose Mind Exploded - with Zachary Heinzerling's heart-warming portrayal of the loving relationship between two eccentric artists walking away with the prize for Best Cinema Documentary.
Lorraine Heggessey, who was chairing the judging panel, said "Cutie and the Boxer stood out as a true 'gem'. It was outstanding in its film craft, beautifully shot and edited with a sensitivity and rawness that took a domestic story and made it universal. It was rich and profound, moving more than one jury member to tears as it portrayed the complexities of our relationships combined with a great use of archive and animation."
The Grierson Trust is a registered charity that exists to promote documentary film making and to celebrate the work of John Grierson. Its forerunner, the Grierson Memorial Trust, was founded in 1974.
In his acceptance speech, delivered on the night by Dogwoof chairman Andy Whittaker, Cutie and the Boxer director Zachary thanked Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, the Japanese artists without whom the film wouldn't exist. Cutie and the Boxer is a candid New York love story about life and art that explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned "boxing" painter Ushio and his wife and artist Noriko.
If you're yet to see the Academy Award-nominated Cutie and the Boxer you can now stream from Dogwoof.TV for £3.49 or purchase for just £6.99 (RRP £15.99) from the Dogwoof Shop.
"A perfectly balanced love story" ★★★★★ - Moviescope
"An attuned portrait of how mannerisms, in art and life, are built up and challenged" ★★★★ - The Guardian
"A charming study of two New York artists’ 40-year marriage shows the ebb and flow of creativity, jealousy and dependency " ★★★★ - The Times
"This charming feature doc offers an anatomy of a marriage" ★★★★ - The Independent
"A hugely endearing documentary, both touching and funny" ★★★★ - The Financial Times
"A compelling portrait of a true eccentric" ★★★★ - The Mirror
"Teases fascinating parallels between art and marriage: essential to both, it seems, are a thick skin and an optimism verging on madness" ★★★★ - Total Film
A reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit, this candid New York story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife, Noriko. As a rowdy, confrontational young artist in Tokyo, Ushio seemed destined for fame, but met with little commercial success after he moved to New York City in 1969, seeking international recognition. When 19-year-old Noriko moved to New York to study art, she fell in love with Ushioabandoning her education to become the wife and assistant to an unruly, husband. Over the course of their marriage, the roles have shifted. Now 80, Ushio struggles to establish his artistic legacy, while Noriko is at last being recognized for her own art - a series of drawings entitled "Cutie", depicting her challenging past with Ushio. Spanning four decades, the film is a moving portrait of a couple wrestling with the eternal themes of sacrifice, disappointment and aging, against a background of lives dedicated to art.