23 January, 2016

Cutie and the Boxer directed by Zachary Heinzerling

There have been a spate of great documentaries in recent years that eschew the young and glamourous folk who usually grace the silver screen, to focus in on the lives and stories of the older generation. Recently I have been coming across a lot of these films and every time I pick one up I find myself inspired. These people quietly (or not so quietly in the case of some of the Advanced Style divas) go about their business, doing what they’ve always done and could otherwise be overlooked or forgotten if it wasn't for these great films. 

Bill Cunningham New York, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Iris, and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel are just a few of the documentaries we hold at the library that celebrate the work, wisdom, and passion of this older crowd. These are all fascinating, vivacious people who defy convention and expectations, all of them working on their respective crafts into their 80s and beyond. 

Cutie and the Boxer is one of these films. It follows the fortunes of Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara, artists originally from Japan now living in New York City  It is now 40 years since they arrived in New York as young people to follow their dreams and make it big. Ushio and Noriko are still chasing these dreams. Ushio, once made famous for his abstract “boxing paintings” is still struggling to pay the bills with his art, while Noriko who has always supported him, is finally getting recognition as an artist in her own right. The film explores their complex, ambiguous and tumultuous relationship – to each other and to their art.

If you can recommend any other films celebrating the older generation let me know in  the comment section below!

Title: Cutie and the Boxer 
Director: Zachary Heinzerling

Recommended by Ella J, Central Library

Ella J is a library assistant who has equal amounts of time for literary masterpieces as she does for pop culture icons and is always looking out for something fresh and exciting to get her teeth into.

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