This weekend the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston present two film related events. From Thursday until Sunday (January 2 through January 5) the documentary Cutie and the Boxer unwinds in the museum’s Brown Auditorium. And on Saturday (January 4) at 4 pm. the Houston Film Critics Society will present their awards show, celebrating films from 2013.
Cutie and the Boxer examines the relationship of married couple Ushio and Noriko Shonohara. Ushio is known for his unique fine art involving large boxing gloves that are as much humongous paint brushes as well as worn appendages. Ushio places the gloved instruments of art on his hands and proceeds to punch large canvases, spilling sprawling images of splatter in an aesthetic manner.
News clips from the 1970s show that Ushio is no fly by night performer. His art was profiled in national media to represent a guy who was semi-famous in Japan who moved to Gotham for the express purpose of becoming a phenomenon in the art world. Ushio is the phenom they are describing and more.
Only it turns out that Noriko is a driving force in the relationship. Even after her trust fund is revoked because she’s basically funding her husband’s success they continue to make artistic strides. Cutie and the Boxer then fast forwards the audience into the heart of their present day connection.
The HFCS awards show will feature clips and highlights of current films whittled down by the 25 members of the organization into a palatable offering of bests and second-bests. Among accolades being handed out are lifetime achievement and humanitarian awards to Eric Harrison (a founding member of the HFCS who recently passed), the Coen Brothers and Edward James Olmos. None of the mentioned is scheduled to appear although it was brought to my attention that P. L. Travers will crash the event.
The HFCS also has the distinction of feting a Texas lensed production award, also known as the Texas Independent Film Award, of which the five 2013 contenders are: Prince Avalanche, Houston, Comedy Warriors, An Unreal Dream, and Zero Charisma. Additionally the award winner are listed below:
Top Ten for 2013:
1. 12 Years A Slave
3. American Hustle
5. Dallas Buyers Club
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
7. Before Midnight
8. Fruitvale Station
9. Saving Mr. Banks
And the HFCS winners per category are:
BEST PICTURE: 12 Years A Slave, Fox Searchlight
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
BEST ACTOR: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
BEST ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
BEST SCREENPLAY: John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
BEST ANIMATED FILM: Frozen, Disney
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
BEST DOCUMENTARY: 20 Feet From Stardom, Radius/The Weinstein Co.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Hunt, Magnolia
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Steven Price, Gravity
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Please Mr. Kennedy,” from Inside Llewyn Davis, music & lyrics by Joel & Ethan Coen, T-Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver
OUTSTANDING CINEMATIC CONTRIBUTION: Eric Harrison
TECHNNICAL ACHIEVEMENT: Gravity, Visual Effects and 3D
WORST FILM OF THE YEAR: Grown Ups 2, Columbia
- Michael Bergeron