There are times you wish writer-director-editor Terence Nance's hyper-eclectic dipsy doodle "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty" would be a bit, well, simpler. That said, this big-hearted film's many moving parts ultimately add up to a jaunty, highly unique look at romantic crossed wires and the push-pull of male-female relationships.
The movie toggles between the title work and its predecessor, a 2006 short called "How Would You Feel?" about the would-be romance between Nance and his friend-unrequited love, Namik Minter. (Both characters play themselves, or should we say "are" themselves?) The halves of "Beauty" are sewn together by a wry and grandly written narration (voiced by Nance and others) that wedges in words such as "exegesis" and "coefficient" without sounding a bit arch.
En route, there are vibrant chunks of hand-drawn and stop-motion animation, a purposeful repetition of events that somehow always feels new, recounts of Nance's other fleeting girlfriends, evocative shots of
Since there's little actual spoken dialogue (the narration and other voiceovers prevail), one must piece together Nance's persona, history and career track. Still, the big-Afro'd artist-filmmaker comes off as quite the creative, intriguing, charismatic guy, someone we'll likely be seeing — and learning — more of very soon.
"An Oversimplification of Her Beauty." No MPAA Rating. Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes. At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.