Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Watch: Cutie and the Boxer

I sometimes wonder if we haven't regressed when it comes to women's rights, especially in the media.  On TV shows and in films women are portrayed in ways that are alien to me, and I am a woman.
I especially get frustrated with the way creative and other historical female figures are portrayed in film. I could list many films, "Pollock", "What Maisie Knew", "New York Stories", "Sylvia" - to name a few, where the women's creativity is either seen as secondary to their male partner's, portrayed as silly OR their actual talents become a palimpsest on top of which a dreary or overblown romance is rendered.
See how many films and documentaries about male creatives you can come up with, then try and come up with an equal number for women. Good luck with that one.

That is why "Cutie and the Boxer" was so refreshing and thoroughly watchable. Rather than going for the obvious line of exploring Ushio Shinohara's career that never reached the heights of success that was forecast in his earlier years, or examining the complex relationship with his wife Noriko (who by the way has GREAT style), the filmmakers created a multi-layered documentary that incorporated the above to actually make Noriko, I think, the main protagonist as a talented artist whose circumstances curtailed her career. It was a surprising twist.

Watch it, it's great.