Sundance London 2012: ‘An Oversimplification of Her Beauty’ a visually challenging love story

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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Written by Terence Nance
Directed by Terence Nance
USA, 2012

Following on from his 2010 film, How Would You Feel?, Terence Nance brings about a visually complex documentary showing the status of his relationship with Namik Minter (starring as herself). How Would You Feel? was a visual declaration from Nance to Minter -who was at time unaware that she would be starring in the film – as the object of the leading man’s affections.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is essentially a love story from Nance to Minter, ranging from the radically obscure to the touching. The 90 min. feature is a blend of documentary, animation and live action.  The film also includes snippets of the original short film, which serves as constant reminders of how An Oversimplification… came to pass.

The film is experimental, yes, but overcomplicated; the excessively different branches of animation are not necessary. Viewpoints from the ”characters” seem clouded in the process, so you don’t really understand what has passed or the feelings meant to be imparted at all times.  The editing is messy and unstructured often lacks structure.

The main problem with An Oversimplification… is that for a film that centralizes on the ‘are-they, aren’t-they’ relationship of these two people, there is a lot of glossing over of particulars.  What could have been a film with a deep emotional connection as its backbone seems to get lost in the layers of repetitive archival footage and progressive art. However, it is intriguing to see the relationship between Nance and Minter develop – the former shows the latter’s key qualities in the most flattering way and the art pieces incorporated are beyond creative.  Nance’s artistic talents are commendable and imaginative, and for him to say ‘I Love You’ in so many ways shows that he has definitely found a muse for life.

An Oversimplification… appeals to the artistic and indifferent, and is definitely one of the more abstract films of the festival. Prepare your senses.

Katie Wong

The 26th-29th April sees the Sundance London Film and Music festival hit the O2 Arena, which sees the festival – renowned for its programme of independent film – take place in the UK for the first time in its 34-year history.

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