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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty - Review

We recently attended a screening of An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, when it came to the Brattle Theater in Cambridge. The event was both a screening of the film as well as Q&A with the director,Terence Nance.  This was one of his more recent stops on a North American tour. 

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is the conflation of a film produced by Nance in 2006, that was more love letter than documentary, with an incredibly reflexive, almost nostalgic, revisiting of his earlier work. The result is a deeply moving and thought provoking reply to the questions posed by the earlier film. From the first scene, Nance adeptly draws the viewer into the plot, by initiating an intellectual dialogue on desire and loss, inviting the viewer to experience and contemplate the situation as it unfolds. The narration encourages analysis and judgement; following scenes of disappointment and rejection, the narrator frequently asks us the question "what would you do?"

The self reflexive style struck a powerful chord within each of us; our minds buzzed while we watched, internally relating Nance's painful yet invigorating experiences with our own. Moreover, Nance wins favor with his honest portrayal of raw desire and whimsical longing for a love that borders on the ideal.  By elevating his individual love to a more universal, Nance skillfully conveys the emotions of love and lust, and explores the unexpected implications of expectations we impose on our objects of affection.   
The theme is masterfully expressed with an adept use of narration, artistic video footage, and animation.  The award winning film is a must see for anyone that appreciates art and the subtleties of life and love. 

(Movie Review written by Aurora Mercury and edited by Tofu Squirrel)

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