This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.
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For years, Ushio Shinohara has been one of the leading, and most under- appreciated, alternative artists in Japan and New York City with an wildly esoteric style. For many of those years, his wife, Noriko, has been a faithful companion to this idiosyncratic man, but grew wanting to be more. This film covers the relationship of this special couple as Ushio struggles for commercial success on his own terms. Additionally, we follow Noriko pursuing her own artistic vision with her semi-autobiographical line art project that reveals much about her own soul as eloquently as her husband's work.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Life is wonderful. Life should be positive. When it's blown to pieces, that's when it becomes art. Art is messy and dirty when it pours out of you. The New York Times once said "Shinohara is amazing." Listen... Brother... Why do I... It makes me cry. I believe in my career goddamn it. Why do I have to? I want to cry. I've got nothing. Listen to me! This is so hard... And it's so fantastic... Now I've got nothing. You see... We are the ones suffering the most from art...
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This is a stunning film for several reasons: Foremost, it is a convincingly honest portrayal of the life of two artists. I cannot recall a film that got the life of an artist right—without an agenda, without false sentiment, without noticeable dishonesty. As a writer I felt I fully understood what Heinzerling managed to convey about the Shinoharas' personal visions without his having to resort to the conventional format of most documentaries. Second, the film is a totally engrossing portrait of a complicated relationship. Unlike most films about famous people, there is no narration here telling us what to think of Ushio and Noriko. They speak for themselves. They reveal themselves, for better and occasionally for worse. I usually resist films that are charming but this one has charm that is utterly irresistible. Third, the film casts light on the kind of work these artists do and have done. Fourth, we get to see the artists when they are not creating; that is, we get to know a little more about their inner lives and their external activities. Fifth, the artists themselves are utterly compelling personalities.
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