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This profile was last updated on 1/1/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Noriko Shinohara

Wrong Noriko Shinohara?
 
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Employment History

  • Artist
13 Total References
Web References
This is a general truth, not ...
orlandoweekly.com, 1 Jan 2014 [cached]
This is a general truth, not a universal truth, but it's certainly true for artist Noriko Shinohara, who is madly in love with her husband and fellow artist, Ushio, who is dubbed Bullie in Noriko's "Cutie" graphic stories. The story of this dynamic pair unfolds at a natural pace as she struggles to find her artistic voice and he struggles to get someone to pay him for his talents so they can keep the lights on.
The feature directorial debut of ...
www.k5international.com, 22 Aug 2013 [cached]
The feature directorial debut of documentarian Zachary Heinzerling is a portrait of artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, who met and married in 1970s New York after emigrating from Japan.
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Still, Noriko speaks of the constant struggle of being married to a man whose career and ego has long dominated hers. That's thanks as much to his powerful personality as the fact that she put her own work on hold for many years while assisting her husband in his art-making and raising their son, Alex. (Alex, also a painter, is shown briefly in the film and seems to have a drinking problem of his own. "I did the best I could," Noriko says with a tone of heartbreakingly unsentimental self-awareness.)
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"We are like two flowers in one pot," says Noriko, explaining that sometimes one plant does not get enough nutrients.
At the same time, she suggests, the act of sacrifice can be a beautiful thing.
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Zachary Heinzerling's remarkable documentary debut is an unblinking look at the fierceness of artist Ushio Shinohara, his wife, Noriko, and their artistic and marital...
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Zachary Heinzerling's remarkable documentary debut is an unblinking look at the fierceness of artist Ushio Shinohara, his wife, Noriko, and their artistic and marital journey.
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The director wants us to understand Shinohara is a fierce man.
An artist, Shinohara is known for his "boxing" technique, part of his action painting style that is arguably performance art by itself. We see a demonstration, the boxing gloves dipped into, then dripping with paint, the man hurling himself at a huge canvas - punching, whirling, punching again and again, creating an explosion of imagery and color in real time. Shinohara's body and the canvas are both streaked when he's done, the man exhausted, the art vibrating with energy.
As riveting as Shinohara is, the filmmaker is only setting the groundwork for the real artist he is interested in - Noriko, Shinohara's wife of 40 years.
Unlike her frenetic husband, Noriko, 59, is the rock in the relationship, the lion tamer. The lion keeper. Cutting the fish for a meal, sorting through old canvases with Shinohara for a display of his work the Guggenheim is considering, worrying over the bills that pile up.
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The tone shifts to footage of late nights and too much drink - Shinohara regaling his buddies. It would lead to a very difficult alcohol-drenched stretch for the artist.
When the focus shifts to Noriko, she is 19 and newly arrived in New York on a student visa. Her quick absorption into Shinohara's scene, his life, leads within a year to their marriage and a baby. Her artistic dreams are soon overrun by taking care of Shinohara and their son. There is a telling shot of those early days, Noriko in her artist smock, working on a canvas in a corner of the studio.
It is in plumbing the tension between his dreams and hers that the film is at its most intriguing. Noriko had only recently picked up the brush again when Heinzerling began filming.
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But like Noriko, you can't let Cutie's perky braids fool you. She is fierce as she battles her nemesis.
Heinzerling not only shows Noriko making art, he's animated it, using it throughout the film to reveal the real contours of Noriko's journey.
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At some point in the discussions with the gallery owner, Noriko mentions her work, and the ground shifts once again.
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Their years together supply a frame around the art, which properly occupies the foreground: Ushio's abstract paintings and fantastical cardboard figures; Noriko's ink-washed, cartoonlike drawings.
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Noriko, along with their young son, Alex, hovers around the edges of the earlier film, and the home movies that supplement Mr. Heinzerling's observations of the present.
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Ushio struggles for recognition (and beer money) while Noriko hovers in the art-world shadows.
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On its surface, this fly-on-the-wall documentary simply shines a spotlight on adorable husband and wife artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, but filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling masterfully plumbs depths to give us a greater understanding of their marriage in relationship to the different art they create.
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Initially, it seems that Ushio's career will be the main emphasis of Cutie And The Boxer, but slowly Heinzerling reveals his film to be a study of Ushio and Noriko, who is more than 20 years younger than Ushio and moved to New York dreaming of becoming an artist herself before falling in love with this charismatic, talented man. Over the course of the film's running time, we learn how Noriko's gift for charmingly low-key illustrated storytelling has been overwhelmed by Ushio's ambition, which intimidated her enough to give up on her dreams, instead becoming a wife and mother.
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Ushio may have been more driven - not to mention problematic because of a bout with alcoholism - but Noriko is hardly blameless, allowing her husband's desires to supersede her own.
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"Art is a demon that drags you along," says 80-year-old visionary painter Ushio Shinohara in first-time director Zachary Heinzerling's delicate portrait "Cutie and the Boxer," but neither Shinohara nor his supportive wife and fellow artist Noriko are looking for a cure.
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Shinohara, a resident of New York's fine art scene since the late sixties, primarily indulges in a practice known as "box painting," an aggressive technique that finds him hurtling paint-covered gloves across a massive canvas, churning out loud, stream-of-conscious abstractions in under three minutes. Heinzerling first shows us this phenomenal practice in an early long take that establishes the movie's engrossing style. The filmmaker brings this world to life with a mixture of realism and vivid imagery. Set to Yasuaki Shimizu's smooth jazz compositions, animations based off Noriko's drawings and subtle camerawork that explores the crevices of Shinohara and Noriko's lives, "Cutie and the Boxer" uses each frame in expressive ways on par with its subjects' work.
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Edited to accentuate the rhythms of the family's daily existence, the movie rests on small moments, from Noriko bathing their cat to Shinohara lugging a suitcase full of artwork to the subway. Elsewhere, the very process of artistic creation comes alive with a cross-cutting strategy that shifts from close-ups of brushstrokes to Shinohara's emotionally involved reactions.
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Unlike Alex, however, Shinohara can't get away with his indolence under his wife's watch. Noriko provides a candid guide to uphill battles with her husband over the years. "I was just following him," she says of their early years, in contrast to her current assertiveness, which turns "Cutie and the Boxer" into a soft-spoken survival tale. "We are the ones suffering the most from art," Shinohara tearfully confesses during one of his darker moments.
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Director Zachary Heinzerling's documentary follows the complicated 40-year marriage of New York-based Japanese artists Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko.
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PARK CITY -- A good example of the maxim that opposites attract, Zachary Heinzerling's accomplished and entertaining documentary, Cutie and the Boxer, presents the complicated 40-year marriage of New York-based Japanese artists Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko.
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With the timing of a comedy duo exchanging barbs, the macho, self-absorbed Ushio and the elegant, independent-minded Noriko are delightful company in this intimate exploration of life and art.
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Noriko was a 19-year-old art student when she fell in love with Ushio and abandoned her own work to become his assistant and caretaker. Until recently a consummate alcoholic, Ushio was a handful to manage. But Noriko is no pushover, and their sparring is entertaining and soulful. Usiho accuses her of never listening to him, and that's not far from the truth. Behind Ushio's bravado, one senses a great tenderness and affection for his wife.
What gives these lives form and content and makes them so interesting to watch is their dedication to their art and the creative process. Working out of cluttered neighboring studios in Brooklyn, Ushio freely admits that art is a demanding mistress, and Noriko compares their co-existence to two flowers trying to grow in the same pot; the result can be heaven or hell.
The film started out to be portrait of Usiho, but several years ago, drawing on her lifetime of frustration, Noriko finally found her voice in a series of humorous paintings accompanied by text explaining the trials of being married to an egotistical alcoholic. "Cutie and the Bullie," as Noriko titled her work, resembles a large-scale graphic novel. By will of her personality and wit, to some extent, Noriko takes o
Cast: Noriko Shinohara, Ushio ...
www.dvdizzy.com, 16 Aug 2013 [cached]
Cast: Noriko Shinohara, Ushio "Gyu-chan" Shinohara, Alexander Kukai Shinohara, Reiko Tomii, Alexander Munroe, Shuhei Yamatani, Ethan Cohen
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Shinohara fills the latter part of the title with his unusually method of painting. He puts on oversized foam-topped boxing gloves covered with paint and violently punches a large canvas right to left, usually taking no more than a couple of minutes to finish. Ushio also makes distinctive cardboard sculptures of motorcycles.
Noriko, meanwhile, paints Cutie, a character clearly based on herself. This always naked alter ego has her hands full with her man, Bullie, based on Ushio. There is also a child, recalling the one Noriko became pregnant with six months after meeting Ushio. She was 19. He was 41. Though Ushio has had his share of fame and renown, most people find his avant-garde art striking but not to their taste. Few of his creations have sold and the couple can still barely afford rent and utilities.
Ushio and Noriko are an interesting couple who earn the attention of Heinzerling and viewers.
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That child, Alex, is all grown up, but like Noriko still living in Ushio's shadow.
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The pigtailed, beauty-marked Noriko discusses the boy's inferiority complex growing up and her similar own artistic marginalization, which we see when art gallery owners consider exhibiting the couple's work.
Noriko Shinohara's own artwork has always been secondary to her husband Ushio's, the sale of which to the Guggenheim she here tries to facilitate.
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Noriko describes life with Ushio as a constant struggle, though love and a wealth of shared experience clearly outshine their frequent bickering. Noriko's illustrations, which earn seemingly the MPAA's first R rating purely for "nude art images", are at times brought to life with animation, her charming imperfect English captions intact.
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Shinohara: The Last Artist (23:17, SD) is the complete early 1970s TV documentary excerpted in the film.
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Ushio and Noriko Shinohara slug each other with paint-covered boxing gloves in the closing scene of "Cutie and the Boxer."
One of the best female stories ...
www.bust.com, 31 Jan 2013 [cached]
One of the best female stories of this year's festival was artist Noriko Shinohara's (aka "Cutie") , told with energy and humor by director Zachary Heinzerling, who earned a well-deserved Directing Award for U.S. Documentary on Saturday night at the Sundance Awards Ceremony.Cutie and the Boxerreveals the domestic and artistic lives of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two Japanese artists making the long and arduous artists' journey in New York City.
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One of the best female stories of this year's festival was artist Noriko Shinohara's (aka "Cutie") , told with energy and humor by director Zachary Heinzerling, who earned a well-deserved Directing Award for U.S. Documentary on Saturday night at the Sundance Awards Ceremony.Cutie and the Boxerreveals the domestic and artistic lives of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two Japanese artists making the long and arduous artists' journey in New York City.
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Noriko, a privileged and well-off Japanese art student, comes to New York in the early '70s to study art. When she wanders into Ushio's studio one day, her fate is sealed.Ushio invites her to come "paint" in his studio (Cutie says: "His bed is so dirty, and there's no sheet, but he's a great artist"). It doesn't take long before Noriko's role becomes a familiar one:"Free Secretary, free assistant, free chef," she says to him at one point in the film, 40 years after their relationship starts."You only stay with me because you're poor and you need me," she says. Ushio looks at the camera and grins.
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hereas Ushio--still adorably hyperactive and pugilistic at 80--strikes the canvas bare-chested wearing paint-soaked boxing gloves, Noriko works more reflectively in a small space.Ushio eschews self-reflection, and his art is based in energetic spurts of freneticism, while Noriko observes and analyzes. his contrast highlights the dynamic between the designation Ushio gives himself (only half-jokingly) as "the real genius" in the household and Noriko's role as"the assistant".
In a hopeful and rather inspiring turn, though, Noriko begins to find what she feels is her true artistic voice when she creates her alter-ego, Cutie (who is always naked, because she's poor, though her nude figure also references the nude female figure found on oh-so-many an artist's canvas). In her series Cutie and Bullie, a memoir of sorts about her 40-year marriage to the often impoverished alcoholic Ushio, brought to life in her figure Bullie, she begins to tell the truth about the life an artist/wife lives. he plans carefully for the day a gallerist will visit her husband's studio to discuss an upcoming show. fter he views Ushio's pieces, Noriko says, "I have some work I'd like to show you. ould you come to my studio?"The gallerist loves her work and agrees to give her a show, saying, "I'll put Ushio in the main room and I'll give you the back room."Noriko glows with the success, teasingly asking Ushio, "You jealous?"
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Unlike other artist documentaries featuring a frustrated female muse, like Scott Hicks' Glass:a portrait of Phillip in twelve parts or the bio pic Pollock, that includes a story line covering Lee Krasner's less notable career in comparison to her husband's (Ushio and Noriko are compared to Pollock and Krasner at one point in Cutie and the Boxer, much to Ushio's delight and amazement), this film shows a more nuanced relationship and the evolution of both artists.
Cutie and the Boxer is the ...
moviecitynews.com, 27 Jan 2013 [cached]
Cutie and the Boxer is the story of Noriko Shinohara, a talented artist who sacrificed her own ambitions to support her temperamental, brilliant, alcoholic husband, famed "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara, and how she finally stands up for herself after 40 years of marriage to finally pursue her own art instead of merely assisting her husband with his.
The film begins by showing us 80-year-old Ushio struggling not just to stay relevant but to establish his lasting legacy in the field of art, but shifts gears as Noriko - who four decades ago came to the United States to study art, met the much older Ushio, and promptly gave up her own aspirations to marry and support him- begins to work seriously for the first time on her own artistic effort. Noriko's work is a series of drawings called "Cutie and Bullie" that depicts her struggles in her long relationship with her husband; her drawings are honest and emotionally raw; she uses them to gently express both her long-dormant anger and resentment, and to find her own voice as an artist.
Ushio and Noriko live in poverty, struggling to pay their rent, even as a representative from the Guggenheim comes to talk to them about purchasing one of Ushio's works for their permanent collection. The gallery show of Ushio's work that opens the film doesn't go well, with not a single work being sold. Ushio continues to work, and Noriko to assist him as she always has, while Ushio puts Noriko down in countless small ways, referring to himself as the artistic genius and her as his less-gifted helper. Clearly, this is a long established dynamic between the two, but as Noriko expresses herself more and more through her drawings of Cutie and long-held resentments start to unfurl, she starts to speak up for herself, to demand that Ushio acknowledge her contributions to their relationship.
As Ushio prepares for another gallery show, the seeds of a plan grow in Noriko's mind: to show the gallery owner her own work when he comes to see Ushio's, in the hopes that finally her own talent as an artist will be recognized.
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Love is complicated, and Noriko conveys this with anger, yes, but also with gentle humor and compassion. "Cutie hates Bullie? Ushio hestitantly asks his wife, as if fearing the answer. "No," she replies. "Cutie loves Bullie. Very much."
Cutie and the Boxer is a beautifully made film, as one might expect a film about the art world to be. There is vividness of color here, and contrast between the pair's struggles in the real world and the way in which they express themselves artistically. Like all artists, including no doubt many of the filmmakers with films at Sundance, for Ushio and Noriko the financial struggles of an artist being able to survive while still creating are a constant source of tension, but there's never a time when either of them says, well, we're not getting rich of this, so we should give it up and get a steady job to pay the bills. They fight and they struggle, but the art and being able to keep creating it remains at the forefront of their relationship through it all.
Above all, this is Noriko's story, about a talented young girl with artistic ambition who came to the US to become an artist, chose to subvert her own dreams to support her husband in his, and finally, four decades later, found a way to stand up for herself and forge her own path as an artist. Ushio and Noriko's sometimes volatile relationship reveals the complexity of a long-term marriage between two talented artists, and the pull-and-tug between them as they stick it out through the bad things and find a way to make it work, together.
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