Goldberg Reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival
by Kenneth B. Goldberg
May 01, 2013 | 2472 views | 0 0 comments | 176 176 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Noriko Shinohara
Noriko Shinohara
slideshow
Eleanor Squllari
Eleanor Squllari
slideshow
Cutie and the Boxer

“Cutie and the Boxer” is an enduring love story between Ushio and Noriko Shinohara who have been married for 40 years, and struggle through the trials and tribulations of Ushio's life in the art world.

Ushio, who had more success at the beginning of his career, has struggled financially through his later years and lives a stressful life, as he hasn't given up on his artwork.

He is known for his unique painting style, where he puts painting pads on boxing gloves and punches the canvas for an artistic boxing workout.

His wife Noriko is an aspiring artist who came to New York and dropped everything to assist the hard working and hard-drinking artist, Ushio.

Now much older with a grown child, Noriko starts to make her own artwork, and is now able create an identity out of the shadow of her famed husband.

Her artwork in the film consists of painting with cartoon characters, telling the story from when a young naive girl first got off the plane from Japan, to when she married her husband; who she calls Bullie in the cartoon.

Noriko is the character Cutie in her story. She trashes her hard-drinking husband who dumps all of their life’s responsibilities on Cutie and also makes fun of her former self, tending to all her drunken husbands needs.

When Ushio goes to Japan to sell some work, she boasts over how great it is to be alone and free to express. Soon after, her moment is broken when the bell rings. She darts down the stairs of their dilapidated loft and opens the door to help her husband, bringing his suitcase up the stairs, however she is obviously glad to see him.

The film takes an interesting look at an artist's life and a marriage that works despite tough conditions.

Ushio and Noriko live in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, where they have been since 1986.

In God We Trust

“In God We Trust” is a film about Bernie Madoff, a man who hurt anyone and everyone he touched.

He destroyed his family, his friends and his scam ultimately led to his son's suicide, all in the interest of the almighty dollar. His pyramid scheme was probably the most public ousting of greed in an era where greed already runs rampant.

The film takes a look at Eleanor Squllari, his long time secretary, and her method of exposing Madoff to recover money and point out those involved in the scam.

It shows how she provided tips to authorities to turn in the people most involved in the scam and exposes the notorious 17th floor where it was originally implemented.

According to the film, numerous government agencies that were supposed to regulate, turned their backs for years despite stories in the press that screamed out inadequacies.

“In Got We Trust” depicts Squallari as a tough and intelligent character, and looks into her life following the case when she is most vulnerable. After losing her home and her money, she is eventually taken in by her children.

Another employee explained how she not only lost everything, but she also got her family and friends to invest, all of whom also lost their money.

The government and victim’s lawyers have been going after the money but who knows how much they will recover. Experts say the scam would still be going on if there wasn't a crash during the bank crisis when a lot of people asked for their money at the same time.

Thank God for people like Eleanor Squallari for assisting in putting Madoff silently in the federal penitentiary.

This film is a warning that your money isn't safe, that there are scams going on all the time and reminds us that it is hard to know what is really going on behind closed doors.

We are all asked to change from traditional ways of securing ourselves in later years and rethink our 401Ks and retirement investments.

The film reminds us that if the profits are too good to be true, they probably aren't.

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