An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

An animated scene from AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY, a film by Terence Nance. Credit: Stephanie Matthews. Image courtesy Variance Films. All rights reserved.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012/2013)

Opened: 04/12/2013 Limited

Cinema Village...04/26/2013 - 05/16/201321 days
Lincoln Ctr/NY04/26/2013 - 05/02/20137 days
Los Angeles05/17/2013 - 05/23/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Animated Comedy/Drama

Rated: Unrated


You've just arrived home after a bad day. You're broke and lonely, even though you live in the biggest and busiest city in America. You do, however, have one cause for mild optimism: you seem to have captured the attention of an intriguing young lady. You've rushed home to clean your apartment before she comes over. In your haste, you see that you've missed a call. There's a voice mail; she tells you that she won't be seeing you tonight.

With arresting insight, vulnerability, and a delightful sense of humor, Terence Nance's explosively creative debut feature, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY, documents the relationship between Terence and a lovely young woman (Namik Minter) as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. Utilizing a tapestry of live action and various styles of animation, Terence explores the fantasies, emotions, and memories that race through his mind during a singular moment in time.

Director's Statement

I met Namik through a friend of a friend of a woman who I was in love with in 2005, two months after I got to The City. The first moment I saw her, I felt the future we would share fall out of her smile, onto the table between us, and meander toward me like a toddler toward a remote control. It was a pleasant surprise. I had been sort of lonely, and as it turned out, she was also feeling a sort of isolation. I set about the process of falling in love with her very quickly, and in a matter of weeks, we sunk into a familiarity that you could smell on our breaths and see in our gait. Unfortunately, all was not well on the home-front. A few white lies and soft secrets flew between us, but no pain, no gain, cause trust me, the timbre of Namik Minter's voice, those two moles under her left eye, and her general un-figure-out-able-ness will have you down for WHATEVER. Trust me. So suffice it to say that a few months in, the unnameable thing between us was growing into adolescence and had begun to develop an irrational faith in its immortality. One night, we were supposed to meet up at my place, as we sometimes did; I was excited about it and rushed myself home. When I got settled, she called and told me she couldn't come over.

That night, I came to realize that at least from my experience with her Namik was kind of like snow: she was beautiful and mysterious, but days like that, she was cold to the touch. Generally, I was learning that if you held on to her too long, she would melt into another form and escape through the spaces between your fingers. Now don't get me wrong, there was that bright, sun-like love growing between us, but it is important to mention that neither I nor she had ever verbally made mention of it's existence. So, inspired by her profound affect on my day-to-day emotional well-being, and a desire to tell her EXACTLY what I felt in the hopes of her reciprocating it, I wrote a short film entitled How Would You Feel? I wrote the whole film in one sitting, but really, the entire movie was written in my mind 2 to 3 seconds after she hung up the phone. It was the moment during which I began to understand that although I loved her, there was no evidence that she loved me back. After writing the film, I saw it to be a whole and self-deprecating truth - one that I found exceedingly humorous, and cathartic. This work of fact, phrased as fiction in the second person, would exist on two planes of communication: one, between Namik and I, and two, between the audience and the characters portrayed.

How Would You Feel? illustrated the most important points of our story starting from that day I first saw her smile in November of 2005, to the moment she started dating that guy with the perm in June of 2006. On July 6, 2006, the complete short film How Would You Feel? was screened for the public. Namik was the star of her own story, unbeknownst to her until the screening.

As for Namik, I was definitely attempting to get her to confront the realities of our relationship, maybe own up to the wrong and right that was between us, maybe fall in love with me instantly and descend dramatically into my arms. I rationalized the deception of casting her in a movie in which she plays herself, without her knowing, by telling myself that the "truth can't make anyone mad." In the film, I stuck to the truth, or to MY truth, even when it meant saying something unfavorable about myself. In the end, though it was only my truth, not hers, and outside of the achievement of making a charming piece of artwork, I met my first failure, and it was bitter. Albeit, not as bad as I would have expected. Upon seeing the movie with about one hundred of her peers for the first time on the big screen, she did not descend into my arms, or fall in love with me. She was quiet and seemingly un-phased, like she always seems. She conceded no further information to me about how she felt about us. We grew no closer, and eventually, we stopped drifting in any direction altogether, stuck in a painfully platonic purgatory. Almost immediately after the premiere of the movie, she started dating that guy with the perm.

In my attempt to win over Namik with How Would You Feel? I must say, I FAILED. However, there was another outcome that proved more successful - that of the character on screen and his connection with the audience, and this is why I moved forward with An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is an expansion of our story. It pretty much all really happened... I think. And even if it didn't happen exactly like I say in the film, each emotional note plucked on screen was hit in reality. The film is thus a whole understanding of the love, danger, and ambiguity that inspired the short film How Would You Feel? It documents our rise and stasis through re-reading of letters, re-dreaming of dreams, and reanalyzing of memories that I hope I had. The film has been my obsession. It is an attempt to explain the reason why I both cannot get her out of my mind, and why I have not even developed the desire to do so. I know that when you watch the film you will recognize her, and fall in love with her just like me. And just like me, you will fail completely in your attempt to understand her.

Cast and Crew Biographies

Terence Nance (Director / Musician / Screenwriter / Actor)

Terence Nance is an artist born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He comes from a family of actors, photographers, and musicians. Terence began drawing, acting, and writing music as a young child sitting in on his mother's play rehearsals, and his uncles' studio sessions. He studied visual art at New York University where he developed his art-making practice to include mixedmedia installation, music, and film. Terence makes music under the name Terence Etc. His music can be classified as "Art -- Funk". The music draws on familiar funk influences like Stevie Wonder and James Brown as well as less obvious composers like Andrew Lloyd Weber, Dilla, Leadbelly, the Kronos Quartet, and Thelonius Monk. His first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, is an IFP Narrative lab alumnus and premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The album of the same title will be released with the film in 2013. Terence currently resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn -- along with the rest of The Swarm.

Namik Minter (Namik)

Namik Minter is both a visual artist as well as a skilled and experienced producer from Stone Mountain, Georgia. After graduating from Yale, she made her way to New York City. She was working her way up in the city's advertising world when she met Terence in 2005. Shortly after meeting, Terence and Namik collaborated on the short film How Would You Feel? After the film was finished, they continued to work together on an interactive installation entitled Sleep Awake, in which Namik showcased her ability as both a dancer and actress. They have renewed their creative partnership in the expansion of How Would You Feel? into a feature film entitled An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. All the while, Namik has continued to produce ad campaigns for many reputable brands. She has also appeared in campaigns for and Banana Republic. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is her first feature film. She is the reason that the film exists.

James Bartlett (Producer)

As a successful marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, and producer experienced in such areas as publishing, new media, music production and film production, James Bartlett has engineered the growth of multiple artists and media brands. Bartlett served as Director of Business Development for The Ave Magazine, managing both circulation and marketing activities for the publication. Bartlett also conceived and executed the online marketing campaign for a book of short stories, Next Stop Hollywood, published by St. Martin's Press, which recently had two stories optioned by major film studios. In addition to serving as Chief Executive of Media MVMT, Bartlett has had a major hand in several film productions for Media MVMT. He produced the music videos, "Breathe," and "Something to Believe" both for Blitz the Ambassador. He also serves as one of the producers on Terence Nance's debut feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. Bartlett's proven talents lie in his ability to analyze business structures and scenarios and identify actionable steps necessary to reach successful outcomes. Bartlett holds a Bachelor's Degree from Loyola University Chicago and a Master's Degree in Publishing from New York University.

Chanelle Aponte Pearson (Actor/Co-Producer)

Chanelle Aponte Pearson is a Bronx-bred, Brooklyn-based queer multimedia artist, producer, and researcher whose work promotes cultural heritage, social justice, and individual and collective empowerment. Chanelle uses film, still photography, fine art, and participatory research as tools for challenging systems of oppression and addressing social and economic inequities facing people of color and other marginalized communities.

Chanelle currently serves as the Director of Still & Moving Images at Media MVMT, a Brooklyn-based film production company. In this role, she oversees the development of all film and photo projects and manages accompanying social action campaigns through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations. She produced MoCADA TV, a documentary web series highlighting artists, businesses and cultural institutions that reflect and serve the African Diaspora. She is also co-producer on the film "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty," a 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection. Chanelle holds a bachelor's degree from DePauw University and a master's degree in public administration from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Andrew D. Corkin (Producer)

Andrew D Corkin of Uncorked Productions, studied film and television production, concentrating on producing, at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In 2007, with Borderline Films, Andrew Associate Produced his first feature, Afterschool, which premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the 2009 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Continuing his work with Borderline Films, he Co- Produced their short film, Mary Last Seen and their award-winning feature, Martha Marcy May Marlene, both premiering at Sundance. Martha was sold to Fox Searchlight at Sundance in 2011.

Recently, Andrew worked with Bronson Club, out of Finland, to Co-Produce their English language debut, Love & Other Troubles, starring Emilie De Ravin, and also collaborated with SeeThink Films to Produce Andrew Neel's narrative debut, King Kelly. Under Uncorked, he Produced the 8-episode webseries, The Walker, starring Academy-Award nominee Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, and Rightor Doyle. Working with Brooklyn-based filmmaker/artist/ musician Terence Nance, Andrew produced Terence's feature, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, which was selected into the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier category. Andrew also produced Andrew Renzi's short film, The Fort, which is also an official selection at Sundance 2012.

MoCADA (Associate Producer)

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) uses the visual arts as a point of departure for exploring new artistic production across a variety of disciplines. Through exhibitions and programming, MoCADA incites dialogue on pressing social and political issues facing the African Diaspora, and fosters a dynamic space for the creation and continuous evolution of culture.

Cat Miles (Co-Producer)

Cat Miles is an event planner, project manager, communications strategist, public relations specialist, and novice photographer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Cat received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Columbia University. Her interest in policy reform, civic engagement, branding and communications has led to a successful career in non-profit fundraising and marketing in which she most recently served as Marketing and Events Manager at The Children's Aid Society. Cat has expanded her expertise to include media production through collaborating with Media MVMT, where she is Public Relations Director and Co-Producer of the feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. She combines years of experience with her deep interest in visual art as she freelances in a field she refers to as "Imagination Consulting."

Matthew E. Bray (Cinematography / Associate Producer)

Matthew E. Bray makes motion pictures. He grew up in the foothills of the Adirondacks and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. He has shot everything from special interviews for Nelson Mandela's birthday to a feature documentary about independent comedy. Matthew's work has screened throughout the US and Internationally. Matthew enjoys history, science, traveling, diverse cuisine, the outdoors, rock n roll, elephants, bees, and making & riding bicycles.

Vincent Wheeler (Sound Designer / Music Supervisor)

Vincent's career started in Orlando, Florida where he attended Full Sail University for recording arts. He left Florida after school to work at the award-winning production house Nutmeg Post in New York City. While there, he was able to hone his skills while working on short-film side projects. After leaving Nutmeg, Vincent became a freelance sound designer/mixer for television network promos. He had the pleasure of working on promos for networks such as MTV, USA, TBS, Oxygen, and AMC. In 2010, he decided to make a career change. He took a job in Boulder, Colorado at the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. While there, in the sound department, he worked in digital media, video, and radio. He's since returned to New York, and has made the transition into music supervision while still mixing and designing network promos and film.