Cutie and the Boxer

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Cutie and the Boxer
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZachary Heinzerling
Produced byZachary Heinzerling
Lydia Dean Pilcher
Patrick Burns
Sierra Pettengill
Kiki Miyake
StarringNoriko Shinohara
Ushio Shinohara
Music byYasuaki Shimizu
CinematographyZachary Heinzerling
Edited byDavid Teague
Cine Mosaic
Ex Lion Tamer
Little Magic Films
Distributed byRADiUS-TWC
Release date
  • January 19, 2013 (2013-01-19) (Sundance)
  • August 16, 2013 (2013-08-16)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$199,100[1]

Cutie and the Boxer is a 2013 American documentary film produced, shot, and directed by Zachary Heinzerling.[2] The film focuses on the chaotic 40-year marriage of two artists, the boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko and features original artwork by the couple. Heinzerling said of the couple: "When I first met [the Shinoharas], I was just struck by the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from their faces, their lifestyle, their art, everything about them has so much purpose and character. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, even if you have no previous knowledge of their artwork or who they are, you’re immediately captivated by their presence. They live in a world that’s kind of a time warp that hearkens back to the ‘70s New York SoHo art scene that is sort of canonized in history, certainly from my point of view."[3]


The film is about the difficult 40-year relationship between Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, Japanese-born husband and wife are both artists who live in Brooklyn, New York.[2] Ushio Shinohara is a small player in the contemporary art world, known for painting with a pair of paint-soaked boxing gloves and his oversized motorcycle sculptures made of cardboard. Their family has struggled financially for many years. Noriko, who is more than 20 years younger than Ushio, set aside her own art career to raise their son Alex and serve as Ushio’s unpaid assistant, receptionist and chef.[4] Noriko has also worked on her own art, a character she created named Cutie. Cutie's story is told in a comic-book narrative, where she comes to New York and falls for a broke older artist named Bullie. By the end of the movie, Ushio has begun to recognize that he’s not the only artist in the family and they hold a joint art opening at a SoHo gallery.[5]


The film and film director have been nominated and won a number of awards, including:


  1. ^ Cutie and the Boxer at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ a b Simon, Alissa (January 20, 2013). "Cutie and the Boxer". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Leon, Melissa (February 5, 2014). "It's Complicated For Cutie & the Boxer". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer. "The Best TV Shows and Movies New to Netflix, Amazon and More in June". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  5. ^ ""Cutie and the Boxer": Unforgettable portrait of an unusual marriage". Salon. August 15, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Thompson, Ellen (August 15, 2013). "Cutie and the Boxer Director Zachary Heinzerling | Milk". Milk. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "TFI-Supported 'Cutie and the Boxer' Nominated for Best Documentary Oscar | Tribeca". Tribeca. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Full Frame Documentary Fest Announces 2013 Winners". Deadline. April 7, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2018.

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