Love. It’s complicated. Anyone who has ever been loved, or loved another will most certainly agree. Terrance Nance, the director of “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty” which I screened at the SFIFF2012, creates a film that reminds me of an organic blooming onion. Traveling through the layers of the heart, peeling back the dizziness of lust, catapulting you into the cauldron of desire and of heartache, and ultimately; obsessively exploring the self-reflection that grows and spreads like wildfire as Terrance falls in love with his brilliantly bold friend Namik, who for reasons of fateful circumstance will never be more than an enigma, this is a film bursting with inspiration and passion.

After being stood up one night, self-aware and heartbroken, the utopian artist and musician sat down and wrote a film originally titled, “How would you feel”. Frustrated and quite disenfranchised, the director describes what happened between Namik and himself as simply as: “ I got friend-zoned”.  In an attempt to win her love and get out of the friend zone, he screens his original film for Namik but ultimately fails, as she is just not that into him.

With “The Oversimplification Of Heart Beauty” Terrance works with footage from the original film and constructs a looping and sometimes dizzying film narrated by Reg E. Cathey (The Wire), whose rich baritone digs deeper into the cause of Terrance’s affliction, and at each repetition of the loop, the narrator sneeringly asks, “ given the aforementioned circumstances, how would you feel?”  I personally wanted to laugh at times, cry at times, and more often than not, I wanted to do both because I’ve been there. We’ve all been there, and that is exactly why this film will resonate with everyone.

Constructing the film as a series of footage and animations, the audience experiences the raw emotion of young love through a variety of lenses. The original music composed for this feature is quite fitting, as it creates a frantically colorful mood.

– Svetlana Saitsky

Terence Nance, director of AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY, at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 30, 2012.
Photo by Tommy Lau, courtesy of San Francisco Film Society