The excellent Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer (2013) records the daily lives of Japanese artists Noriko and Ushio Shinohara. The title stems from the fact that Ushio (now over eighty years old) makes “boxing” paintings, using a visceral and energetic performative approach, as well as wildly imaginative sculptures of ordinary objects like motorcycles made mostly with corrugated cardboard and other prosaic materials, while Noriko has created an illustrated series of autobiographical adventures of “Cutie” and “Bullie” based on the couple’s long (and often difficult) relationship. Ushio has gotten much more attention for his eye-catching distorted pop concoctions, but both artists have struggled, often living on the verge of impoverishment. Although latter day success is increasing, as shown by visits from Guggenheim curator Alexandra Munroe, whom they hope will purchase Ushio’s work (she eventually did), and two other NY gallerists in the process of mounting exhibitions of their work. Director Zachary Heinzerling’s film is a gripping, yet subtly drawn portrait of two devoted and memorable artists.