Roof and Courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
|8:30PM||Live Music by Ivy Meadows|
|10:30PM||Q and A with director Zachary Heinzerling and subjects of the film Noriko and Ushio Shinohara|
|10:45PM||Live "Boxing-Painting" Performance by Ushio Shinohara|
|11:00PM - 12:30AM||After-Party courtesy of Red Stripe and Bulleit|
Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling | Brooklyn, NY | 81 min.)
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 aging, against a background of lives dedicated to art.
Director Zachery Heinzerling, who won the US Directorial Debut award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, navigates the turbulent artistic terrain with an energy and voice as distinct as the lives he follows. The uniquely textural score and the lush, deeply personal—almost voyeuristic—cinematography come together to create a powerful portrait of Noriko and Ushio’s marriage, but also of an entire subculture of artists and lovers hidden within edifices throughout the city.
As Noriko states during an interview in the film, “We are like two flowers in one pot. It’s difficult. Sometimes we don’t get enough nutrients for both of us. But when everything goes well we become two beautiful flowers. So it’s either heaven or hell.” The audience is invited to witness this complicated existence in this engaging, unique, masterpiece of new documentary filmmaking.
- Donna K.