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Utterly Simplistic in Its Beauty

June 22nd, 2013 § Leave a Comment

It is a splendid thing to see such a profoundly personal and autobiographical film that elevates its author to the universal everyman. Anyone who was ever unlucky in love can identify with Terence Nance, the man who deftly weaves his admittedly transparent love letter of a short film to the Girl (whose name is blurred out in the titles and letters, but who is blatantly named in all the credits in chapter title cards) into his newer filmic musing on all his past relationships to create a feature length film-within-a-film.

The different music (including a favorite of mine, Flying Lotus), animation sequences, voice overs, and other cinematic tools and techniques don’t feel cliched or contrived. There is no hint of a disgenuine use of anything. The aural and visual collage becomes less cinema and more Def Poetry Jam or stage monologue. Truly an arthouse film experience, but almost not a film at all, much to Terence’s credit.

Get it, falling in love?

Get it, falling in love?

I wouldn’t really say this is hip-hop cinema (I think we’ve already seen what that looks like, RZA), cinematic jazz, or any number of other African American cultural art form metaphors. As much as I hate to admit it, Charles Mudede is on to something when he says it “may be the first feature film that successfully expresses a cinematic black aesthetic.” Damn you Mudede for making me say you were right!

See this film. It is not a narrative film, not a documetnary nor an experimental film, it may be the start of a brand new cinematic movement: a new African American cultural touchstone. Watch out, Spike Lee.

—good to be back, dan

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