POV: Cutie and the Boxer

About This Episode


Cutie and the Boxer is a love story, an art story, a family story and a New York City story — all of them weird, funny and a little heartbreaking. It's a Japanese story, too.

As a young artist in Tokyo in the 1960s, Ushio Shinohara was a rowdy avant-garde painter destined for fame and fortune. Seeking international recognition, Ushio moved to New York City where he met Noriko, who had made her own journey from rural Japan to New York in pursuit of her artistic ambitions. The stage was set for love and art to blossom. But something went awry on the road to a bright future.

The documentary provides a lively account of the 40 years that followed, full of financial struggle, inebriation, parties, exhibitions and Ushio's single-minded dedication to his work. But the essence of Cutie and the Boxer takes place in the present.