Documentarian Zachary Heinzerling spent several years following a hate-love-hate relationship between two elderly Japanese-New Yorker artists, Ushio “Gyu-Chan” Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara, “boxing” painter and artist, respectively. They’ve been together for forty years, since she was nineteen, and at first, you can’t see how they’d be together for even five minutes. The result, “Cutie And The Boxer,” is lovingly shaped, beautifully shot, emotionally rich, gaudy, always compelling and in the end, weirdly reassuring about long-term relationships. Such sweetness in so much bittersweet. Yasuaki Shimizu’s dreamy score adds the last bit of umami. Rated “R” for “Nude Art Images.” 83m. (Ray Pride)
“Cutie And The Boxer” opens Friday, September 20 at the Music Box. Try the trailer on for size.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.