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 Shinohara and his wife and artist Noriko.
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 Ushio, abandoning 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 ageing, against a background of lives dedicated to art.
Zachary Heinzerling is a director and cinematographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Philosophy. He was the recipient of the Directing Award: US Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for his debut feature Cutie and the Boxer. He was also awarded the Charles Guggenheim Emerging Artist award at the 2013 Full Frame Film Festival. He also was selected as one of 25 filmmakers for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFP’s Emerging Visions Program during the 2011 New York Film Festival. He has worked on several feature-length films for HBO and PBS, including four Emmy Award-winning documentaries as a field producer and cinematographer.