Archive of films Cutie and the Boxer / Cutie and the Boxer

2012, 82 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2013

American filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling’s documentary is an extremely direct, powerfully scored portrait of a complicated relationship between larger-than-life Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko, who are finally accepted by New York’s art world after a 40-year struggle.


When in 1969 larger-than-life Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara came to New York, he hoped that his "junk art” sculptures and paintings created by "boxing” the paint onto huge canvases would soon adorn the most prestigious galleries. But instead of artistic recognition he found great love in the form of a young Japanese painter named Noriko. Having settled in New York, Ushio drowned the total disinterest in his work in alcohol, and thus ensued an uphill battle for the Japanese couple and their new baby. Forty years later, the gates of New York’s art world finally opened and Ushio and Noriko organized their first joint exhibition. American filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling spent years with his subjects, thereby capturing a very personal portrait of their complicated relationship. The film is rounded out by atmospheric music from renowned composer Yasuaki Shimizu and by cartoon animation in which Noriko depicts the toughest moments of a mutual life devoted to art.

About the director

Zachary Heinzerling (b. 1982, New York), a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (2006). He has worked on several feature-length films for HBO, including three Emmy Award-winning documentaries as a field producer and camera operator. In 2011 he took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus, and that same year he was selected as one of 25 filmmakers for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFP’s Emerging Visions Program during the New York film festival. His movies have received grants from Cinereach, Tribeca Film Institute, San Francisco Film Society, and the Jerome Foundation. He is currently finishing up work behind the lens on the feature documentary Town Hall for PBS.


K5 International
Konradinstrasse 5, 815 43, München
Tel: +49 893 750 5590
Fax: +49 893 750 559 05

About the film

Color, DCP
European premiere

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Zachary Heinzerling
Dir. of Photography: Zachary Heinzerling
Music: Yasuaki Shimizu
Editor: David Teague
Producer: Patrick Burns
Production: Cine Mosaic
Contact: K5 International


Zachary Heinzerling

Film Director

Oda Schäfer

Sales Agent

Svetlana Zill



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