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Cutie and the Boxer

CUTIE AND THE BOXER is a candid love story exploring the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed “boxing” painter, Ushio Shinohara, and his artist wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband’s assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Director: Zachary Heinzerling
Year: 2013
Time: 82 min

 Cutie and the Boxer
(2013) on IMDb

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Download Discussion Guide

Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to be moved by Noriko and Ushio’s story and discuss the joys and challenges of love and self-expression.

Research the backgrounds of artists or creative individuals who inspire you. What unique story do their lives tell, and how can their stories impact your life?

Consider if there are any passions you have not given time or space to because life or family took over. Give yourself some time to explore those interests once again. You might discover untapped potential.

Tell your own story in a way that you find inspiring and true to who you are. You can write it down or make a painting, movie, or song. Noriko felt she truly found her voice when she started Cutie series.

Related Articles and Resources

Director Zachary Heinzerling on The Brian Lehrer Show

Zachary Heinzerling, director of the Oscar nominated feature documentary, CUTIE AND THE BOXER, talks about his film featuring New York artists Noriko and Ushio Shinohara.

He discusses their story, how the film came together, and how it has impacted the Shinoharas.

Listen here.

Caught Between Cutie and the Boxer

Read this New York Times interview with director Zachary Heinzerling, in which he reflects on his 5-year odyssey to make what he described as a “passion project.”

10 Things You Should Know about CUTIE AND THE BOXER

From the film’s early beginning to Ushio’s favorite thing about newfound fame…

Read here to learn 10 new interesting facts about CUTIE AND THE BOXER’s director and its stars.


This playlist is all about family.

Cinematic Eye Honors

While accepting his breakthrough director prize, Heinzerling said of the Shinoharas, “They really taught me how to make art, and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.”

The Work and Playlist: Filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling

A fun interview with CUTIE AND THE BOXER’s director.

Learn what Zachary’s favorite film is, what has influenced his own work, which piece of art he would own if he could, the person he’s learned the most from, and more!

Read more.

Tracing a Long, Twisted History of Artists and Their Drugs

The Shinohara family life was plagued by alcoholism, but many artists have been linked to substance abuse. Whether alcohol or absinthe, LSD or heroin, some of humanity’s creative geniuses produced their greatest work as mind-altering substances did theirs. A Paris exhibit connects the dots.

Read the full article here.

Interview: Ushio, Noriko, and Zachary

CUTIE AND THE BOXER stars and director came together for an interview with The Movable Fest to speak about how the film changed them as artists. All three were creating at the same time, “and there was always a sense of desperation and a sense of finishing and never a sense of complacency.”

Artistic Power Couples

The Huffington Post highlights 7 artistic “power couples,” both historical and current.

There’s Frida and Diego, Pollock and Krasner, the Dalis, and more. Anyone they missed?


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