‘The Boxer’ is octogenarian artist Ushio Shinohara, famous for ‘action paintings’ that treat canvases as punchbags.
‘Cutie’ is long-suffering wife Noriko, who abandoned her own career to support her eccentric husband. The catch? Ushio’s work never really sold.
Zachary Heinzerling’s documentary is a plaintive portrait of this odd couple, scrabbling to make ends meet but unwavering in their compulsion to create.
The simple approach teases fascinating parallels between art and marriage: essential to both, it seems, are a thick skin and an optimism verging on madness.