Roberta Livingston-McDonald, part of the Hackney Picturehouse Industry insider project for 15-19 year olds, writes on today’s Discover Tuesday title AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HERE BEAUTY
AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY is far from a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy; it’s a real love story between two real people. Terence Nance, the writer and director of the film, is a young hipster who lives in New York. After a string of failed relationships he falls hard for one particular girl, Namik Minter. The relationship between Terence and Namik eventually withers away, so he decides to win her over by making a film about it. Now, this is where it gets interesting… he cleverly intertwines two narratives into one to make the film. When you see a blank blue screen with the word Eject in the top left corner, don’t panic: it’s not the projectionist having a fit, it’s all part of the illusion.
The beauty of art house is that it can be experimental. Nance experiments by showing the relationship in a non-chronological order, which keeps things intriguing. The film also looks stunning, and the cinematography reminded me of Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE. The dazzling animations are charming as well as graphic, and they vary greatly as Nance uses cartoon sketches as well as animated figures that resemble woodcarvings. The animations are the best part of the film – quirky and engaging.
Nance’s highly personal project requires your full, undivided attention: if you want to pop to the cinema to watch something just for mindless entertainment, this is not the film for you. But I recommend AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY for animation fans especially, because its unique animated features are extremely captivating.
Overall this is a fascinating example of art-house cinema which provides a good insight into the genre while also being a great showcase for a talented up-and-coming filmmaker.