Cutie & the Boxer (2013). A documentary by Zachary Heinzerling
A film about how ART brings torture, poverty, love/hate, inspiration and passion for life.
Heinzerling’s lens is loving in a calm and clean way, infused with unpretentious humor (the part about Guggenheim acquisition, and their struggle with English vs. the eloquent agent’s LOL). The few shots about Brooklyn (the protagonists’ living environment) yield vibrance in spite the apartment looks so run-down.
It tells a good (though common) story about the dilemma of artists’ life: the reality of unstable economy and the undeniable eagerness to express and create. It’s never an easy path, let alone stick to it until your 80s. And Bullie is the center of this story.
Then there is Cutie. Women artists living in the shadow of their life and artistic partners is not a new story to tell. Think about Rodin, Eames, Hopper, to name a few. Cutie is just far less famous, but her love and endurance are no less, and her strive for independence is just as much.
The little interlude about Alex is a great touch. The moment Alex showed his work, I felt like crying, because the context I’ve been prepared with. What is art? It is not as conscious as design for sure. Design is functional, art is about personal experience. The difficulty lies in yielding completely to your inner self to guide your work.
Cutie and Bullie’s story ends (and goes on) in routines. That’s just another day in an artist’s life, one of the many struggled artists.