In his debut, the observational documentary »Cutie and the Boxer,« director Zachary Heinzerling offers up a study of the struggles of marriage, alcoholism, financial difficulties and artistic collaboration by following the marriage of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two artists living in New York.

80-year-old Ushio, once a promising up-and-coming artist in New York, tries to restart his career after years of rejection from American collectors. He puts together a new exhibit of his art, which is created by punching paint-covered boxing gloves on canvas. Meanwhile Noriko, his assistant and wife of 40 years, operates in his shadow, looking for recognition for her own illustrations, which depict their rollercoaster marriage through the characters Cutie and Bullie.

Winner of a Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Zachary Heinzerling’s style jumps from past to present and even includes animated sequences. Through his ability to convey the dynamics in the couple’s marriage, the director has created a deeply felt portrait of love and art intermingled.

Cutie and the Boxer poster
Title
Cutie and the Boxer
Director
Zachary Heinzerling
Country
USA
Length
82 min
Festival
2013
Section
Documania
Language
English, Japanese
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2013
Original title
Cutie and the Boxer
Cast
Norika Shinohara, Ushio Shinohara
Producer
Lydia Dean Pilcher, Patrick Burns, Sierra Pettengill, Zachary Heinzerling
See all films from the 2013 festival