The swooningly romantic, love-hexed, film-crazed, captivating, restless “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” Terence Nance’s debut feature, is a teeming portmanteau mixed-media reverie on romance: he’s a filmmaker to watch, and not just with what comes next. Start with the title of his essay film: one time I look at it, I think, “Wut.” And the next? “Whoo.” It’s such a crazy clattery compound, it’s good, and a good label for what comes next. Working with live action, documentary, animation and multiple experimental techniques, Nance goes for the odd, the self-aware and the unabashedly philosophic about romance, even in the face of confounding failure. Prepare to either be giddily swamped or truly annoyed. Not everyone can find love in the same place. With Nance, Namik Minter, Chanelle Pearson. “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty” was the winner of the IFP/Gotham Awards’ “Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You”; I was one of the jurors. 95m. (Ray Pride)
“An Oversimplification of Her Beauty” opens Friday at Facets. The trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.