Friday, January 30, 2015

New York Story

Tonight Liz and I watched Cutie and the Boxer, a charming, quirky documentary about the 40-year marriage of Japanese painter called Ushio Shinohara and his long-suffering artist wife Noriko.
The music is by our friend Yasuaki Shimizu - that was reason enough to watch it - but it also won Best Director Award at Sundance in 2013.
Shinohara was part of the Dadaist art scene in Sixties Tokyo - all action paintings and happenings - but moved to New York in 1969 to seek fame and fortune. Unlike Yayoi Kusama (see 16 Jan post), he didn't find it, but stayed. 
Later he met a 19 year-old visiting Japanese art student, Noriko, who became his assistant and wife. The film is about their struggles to earn a living, their love for each other, their ageing (he's now 82, she 60) and how their roles have shifted. It's now Noriko's art - based on an alter ego cartoon character called Cutie - that is being recognised . 
A lovely, funny/sad, life-affirming film.

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