Cutie and The Boxer from director Zachary Heinzerling, is a charming little documentary from 2013 which explores the lives and marriage of two New York-based Japanese artists, 80-year old famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko.
Part art documentary and part love story, it was immensely fascinating, peering into the lives of these two struggling artists and seeing their unique interactions, both as artists and as a couple, as they prepare for their latest joint gallery showing. Prepared to be charmed by the child-like Ushio, the former alcoholic with an alcohol allergy, as he punch large canvases with paint-soaked sponges, and by the ever youthful Noriko, as she dryly recall the past 40 years of their marriage through her distinctively simplistic arts.
Despite not being a fan of either Ushio or Noriko’s art works, I was quickly won over by their quirky lives and charming personalities. This documentary is just so… well, adorable. The whole experience is like seeing an old married couple in the park, holding hands and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes – you can’t help but to say “awwww”, and cheer them on with a smile.