Cutie and the Boxer

Cutie and the Boxer, a film by Zachary Heinzerling


“Art is messy and dirty when it pours out of you.” – Ushio Shinohara

Simply put, this film is a love story. A love story between an artist and their creations. A love story between two people. A love for and of making art. With all great love stories, comes sacrifice and chaos.

This film follows the artist Ushio Shinohara as he continues to re-define his style through his boxing paintings as his wife Noriko, finds her artistic voice through a series of drawings she calls, “Cutie And Bullie”. This film is driven by stories of the past mixed with their present day struggles.

Heinzerling combines cinema verité with archival footage as well as live animation to portray Ushio and Noriko’s love story. I enjoyed how open and honest the couple was with their feelings. It didn’t leave the viewer wondering what the characters were thinking or questioning the sacrifices each had made, or not made, to be lead them to where they are in their lives.

This film is beautifully shot and wonderfully produced. It was refreshing to see in to the lives of two extremely talented and complex artists and how their love story is told.