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'Cutie and the Boxer' best art film

This story could go into two categories, art and film. There truly is no way to spoil this movie because it is a documentary. Artists are what they are.

Zachary Heinzerling, Oscar winning director
Zachary Heinzerling, Oscar winning director
Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara

If you want to read a good movie review about the film, Cutie and the Boxer, try Susan Miyagi Hamaker; she is terrific.

“Movie Review: The One-Two Punch of CUTIE AND THE BOXER



When Zachary Heinzerling first met Ushio Shinohara, the young filmmaker had no idea the old artist known as “Gyu-chan” was a vital cog in Japan’s post-World War II avant-garde art machine. Nor did he care. It wasn’t Ushio’s resume – founder of Neo-Dadaism Organizers in Japan, purveyor of “junk art,” innovative “boxing painter” – but his dynamic, spunky personality that sparked an interest and set Heinzerling on a five-year journey to create a film that would be a unique twist on the standard artist documentary. Heinzerling also had no idea that it would be Ushio’s long-suffering wife, Noriko, who would end up driving the narrative.”

See the IMDb brief below.

Now, let’s talk about the artists in the context of the story. Noriko Shinohara is like so many wives of male artists in history who subordinate their talent and career to supporting the “genius” artist husband. That genius may warrant the accolades, but without her providing organization, management, and business relationships as well as daily care of the household, the man may succumb to alcoholism. Where have we heard that before? “Jack the dripper”, Jackson Pollack, and his wife Lee Krasner come to mind.

The sad part of the story is that her husband Ushio Shinohara takes her for granted. She is a wonderful artist and storyteller on her own right.

They have a son, Alex, who is a tragic character as he has inherited the propensity to abuse alcohol. He is also a struggling artist.
Ushio’s sculpture of motorcycles constructed from recycled materials are astonishing. His masculinity is also displayed by his donning boxing gloves loaded with paint and he he pounds out paintings on canvas. The sculptures and the paintings make for some very interesting and unique work.

All the while, the “Cutie” is documenting their lives with her figure painting that incorporates Japanese painting style. When put to animation by film director Zachary Henzerling, you end up with an Oscar award winning documentary.

One thing that makes this story compelling is the intense dedication to being artists, living in cramped quarters, and devoting all of the resources and ingenuity to surviving as artists.

“Cutie and the Boxer (2013)
Full Cast & Crew
Directed by
Zachary Heinzerling Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)
Zachary Heinzerling Cast (in credits order)
Noriko Shinohara ...
Ushio Shinohara ...
Alex Shinohara ...
Ethan Cohen ...
Produced by
Veronica Balta ... consulting producer
Patrick Burns ... producer
Lydia Dean Pilcher ... producer
Ezra Edelman ... co-producer
Zachary Heinzerling ... producer
Kiki Miyake ... executive producer
Sierra Pettengill ... producer
Ryuhei Shindo ... associate producer
Mark Steele ... co-producer
Caroline Waterlow ... co-producer
Svetlana Zill ... consulting producer Music by
Yasuaki Shimizu Cinematography by
Zachary Heinzerling Film Editing by
David Teague Production Management
Mark Steele ... post-production supervisor Art Department
Noriko Shinohara ... original drawings Sound Department
Paul Hsu ... sound re-recording mixer
Branka Mrkic ... dialogue editor
Mark Henry Phillips ... sound designer
Jared Van Fleet ... sound recordist
Luciano Vignola ... assistant sound editor Visual Effects by
Steve Mottershead ... visual effects artist: Flame artist Camera and Electrical Department
Nathan Lynch ... additional camera
E.J. McLeavey-Fisher ... additional camera
Ryuhei Shindo ... additional camera Animation Department
Jeffrey Hsu ... assistant animator
Chris Monaco ... animator Editorial Department
Will Cox ... digital intermediate colorist
Andy Grieve ... additional editor
Akiko Iwakawa-Grieve ... additional editor
Akira Kamitaki ... assistant editor
Leon Roberts ... associate editor
Owen Rucker ... digital intermediate on-line editor
Ryuhei Shindo ... first assistant editor
Caitlin Tartaro ... digital intermediate producer
Eri Yokoyama ... assistant editor Other crew
Teddy Blanks ... title designer
André Des Rochers ... production counsel
Mandy Goldberg ... director of development: Cine Mosaic
Bianca Grimshaw ... production counsel
Rod McCall ... archival consultant”

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