I was hooked from the moment I saw the teaser for Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. So before I got to experience the film I checked out some of his other work that is available online, including a short entitled Exorcising Rejection which features this incredibly soothing song from RJD2:
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is screening at several festivals over the next few months (click here for more details). Below is a synopsis, teaser trailer, and some reactions to early screenings of the film.
A quick synopsis: An Oversimplification is a visually engaging film about love, based on real life events involving a boy named Terence and a girl named Namik. The story is told with animation, documentary-style footage, live action, and narration. Check the teaser:
Reactions to the film:
Tambay Obenson (Shadow & Act):
They say that there’s something of every artist in the work they create, whether a conscious decision or not; and the act of creating with the intent to surrender your creation (and in essence a piece of yourself) to a potentially scrutinizing audience, requires some degree of courage on the part of the artist; but I would further say that it takes a certain amount and kind of bravery to intentionally insert oneself (both literally and figuratively) completely naked (physically and emotionally) into one’s work, and then publicly present the completed work to not only family, friends and acquaintances, but also perfect strangers.
Although there is also risking the possibility (or danger even) that some may consider it more of an arrogance and pretentiousness than bravery; but some artists may actually embrace that interpretation as well.
Terence Nance’s feature film debut straddles that line, both in terms of content and structure…
LaToya Peterson (Racialicious):
Refreshingly, black women are Nance’s muses. Often in cinematic depictions of black love, the relationship is construed as adversarial. Here, as Nance documents the many loves that fit his archetype of “brown, maternal, well read, well traveled,” black women take center stage, his love for each of them palpable through the screen.
Me! (G is for Grace):
I was affirmed [by An Oversimplification of Her Beauty]. Prior to the screening, I spent a good part of the day, in my head, defending myself against someone’s insinuation that I’d done too much (shown too much interest, love, attention). The film helped me let some of that go. Things between Terence and Namik seemed pretty intense. The word “love” was used between the two which kind of shocked me because I resist using that word too early on with people, especially with folks that I have romantic interest in. The film led me to something like a revelation about using the word: spiritually, we can only give [out of] love; there is no such thing as giving [out of] like.