Sunday, 29 September 2013


The irony is not in the title, though it may appear to be - the irony is the title. Little, perhaps nothing, in An Oversimplification of Her Beauty has been oversimplified at all, least of all 'her beauty'. I imagine Terence Nance would disagree with me on that. You know when you feel like you ought to champion a film's boldness, and celebrate its director's creativity, but you simply can't, because the film, basically, isn't all that good? I don't accept experimental film on the grounds of it merely being experimental. Finding what works in filmmaking is only an art because the human race does not boast the intelligence to be able to treat it as a science, but it is a science all the same, and like all scientific experiments, it's both got to succeed at what it aspires to succeed at, and it's then got to perform a function. For Nance, I haven't even the slightest doubt that it performs a most profound function. But for me, it does not, as rambling, rickety expulsions of dilettantish poeticism function only to send me into a distracted stupor. Nance certainly makes his point, even if he fails to make the many, sometimes thoroughly extraneous, points embellishing it, but then he devotes the most of 90 minutes to making it, when even nine could have sufficed. Is it sad that something that can so fiercely consume one man's life isn't enough dramatic sustenance for less than a couple of hours of my time? It's a little sad to watch, but then that's more due to the disappointment of witnessing a genuinely bold, creative director conducting a cinematic experiment such as this, and coming up so short.