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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty | Review

posted by on 07/02/2014

From today, An Oversimplication of Her Beauty hits UK screens. Indie filmmaker Terrence Nance’s first offering sees Jay Z, dream hampton and Questlove amongst it’s executive producers, but it’s more than big-name support that makes this watch intriguing. Read on to find out more, and see where you can check it out.

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Part-documentary, part-fiction, all visual feast, woven together with a heavy narrative voice and delectable moments of comedy, the film looks at the complexities of modern-day relationships.

With a musical score by Flying Lotus, the film at times feels as euphorically trippy as the soundtrack. Other times, it’s possible to get lost or distracted in its chaotic form.

At times, watching it conjured feelings that my skewed relationship with spoken word usually procures. I relate to the often profound and brilliantly articulated schools of thought expressed, but I’d sooner leave the weirdness those thoughts come with.

However, what makes it so maddening and borderline frustrating also makes it possible to relate to. The whole film is a myriad of feelings – we’ve been given a front-row seat into the kaleidoscope of Nance’s mind, all its nuances, insecurities and unspoken things he thinks – and we all think when relating to a potential partner, but never say.

And any moment I did feel like it was one repeated narration too far, I was sucked back in by the stunning medley of visuals – illustration and stop-motion are just two of the forms used in the piece.

On the surface, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty feels it was made just for the stereotypical political-book-reading-‘natural’-hair-wearing-bougie-hippie-Black-young-creative-professional (I’m not describing myself, I swear) clichés. However, there is one thing that saves it from not being isolating to people outside of that narrow bracket – well, one thing other than the fact that the film is visually gorgeous. That sense of unknowing, insecurity, self-reflection, over-thinking and over-simplification in relationships – it is something that everyone can relate to.

Besides – the film has the line, “your timekeeping is Afrocentric.” I’ll be using that on EVERYONE.

Today, 7th February An Oversimplification of Her Beauty will debut at The Ritzy in Brixton. This screening will also include a live Q&A with director Terence Nance. There will be screenings at 19 Picturehouse locations across the UK on Tuesday February 11th as part of the Picturehouse Discover Tuesday programming. Tickets for screenings can be booked on the Picturehouse website.

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