Thoughts while watching Cutie and the Boxer

Before going any further I would like to suggest that you go watch the documentary “Cutie and the Boxer” because otherwise, maybe, nothing that follows will make sense. Believe me, even if you’re not a fan of documentaries, you will love this one.

Brief synopsis: A candid portrait of a 40-year marriage between Japanese “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Even if you’re not particularly fond of contemporary art, this doc shines a light on the anger, sacrifice and confrontation involved in an aging relationship. And you can’t help but fall in love with Noriko. (Credits: Huffington Post)

  • The title credits are displayed on the blank canvas that he is painting, while he is painting it. Amazing.
  • The cute little duck slippers that she gives to him as a birthday present and the candle shaped 3 even when it’s his 80th birthday. Little things like these make it special.
  • The fights they have and the misconceptions he holds, maybe. 😛 “The average has to be the assistant of the genius.”
  • Animated rendering of Cutie’s comics. Yay!
  • “You always say that your first work is the best.”
  • The tagline for his art show. Wham! Pow! Vroom! Such a kid at heart. ❤
  • Cutie on encountering Bullie’s bed when he takes her home for the first time: “What a dirty bed. . ., there is no sheet. . ., but art and love are more important.”
  • Virginia Woolf said “Female Artists need a little money and a room of their own to succeed.” My dear Noriko. ❤
  • Noriko tenderly placing cherry blossoms on Ushio’s forehead.
  • Norika while ordering supplies for making a bigger version of her artwork: “I need big brush because I am making big Cutieees.”
  • How she tells him outright, because they have that comfort level after 40 years of marriage: “I feel so free when you’re not around.”
  • Ushio, a few years back to a friend: “You’re so negative. You’ve got to be positive. Life is wonderful. When it’s blown to pieces, that’s when it becomes art. Art is messy and dirty when it pours out of you” Way to go Ushio. So aptly put, tragedy gives birth to inspiration and inspiration to art. And who gets to decide what is art. Whatever you think it is, it is that.
  • It comes out so clearly in their art, their personalities. Ushio is spontaneous and crazy, while Noriko pays attention to details and focuses on her work.
  • In the end its a combination of both their titles that makes it to the catalogue: “Love is a roarrrr.”
  • U: “Cutie hate Bullie?” N: “No Cutie loves Bullie so much.”
  • “Maybe being opposite helped us to accomplish something in the end.”

Cutie does win in the end 🙂

Poster for the Documentary

Poster for the Documentary

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