Terence Nance’s Top 10

Terence Nance’s Top10

Terence Nance was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. His first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film garnered him recognition from Filmmaker magazine, which selected him as one of the twenty-five new faces of independent film. Terence is also a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and his most recent films are Swimming in Your Skin Again and Univitillen.

Photo by Barbara Anastacio

Oct 17, 2016
  • 1

    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    I watched this movie because someone told me that Fassbinder made more than forty movies in fifteen years, and at the time I was having a quarter-life crisis revolving around the question of how to crack the nut of being prolific. So I watched it to figure that out, and it was transcendent but casually so. Then later someone told me that Fassbinder achieved his output by consuming lots of meth (or the sixties version of meth) and never sleeping and that he died at thirty-seven, so I decided being prolific wasn’t for me because I want to meet my grandkids and get foot massages.

  • 2

    Federico Fellini

    Watched a lot of this on my phone on the RER B because I kept seeing the cover or poster or something. Watched it in sections on my phone, which must be blasphemy. I watched it while I was in postproduction for An Oversimplification of Her Beauty and briefly became insecure about finishing the movie because I felt that, as a person making a movie about making a movie about all the women in my life, I was accidentally plagiarizing 8½.

  • 3

    Black Panthers

    Agnès Varda

    From whence I came.

  • 4

    The Double Life of Véronique

    Krzysztof Kieślowski

    Watched this while on walkabout in France because I had an idea to make a movie about dysphasic doppelgängers of the opposite sex. Don’t know why it affected me, but it did.

  • 5

    Days of Heaven

    Terrence Malick

    Dad showed this to me when I was four, I think. I didn’t remember that until I watched it in my early twenties after seeing Badlands and recognized all of it. Changed my life. Didn’t know you could do something both epic and casual.

  • 6 (tie)

    Pather Panchali

    Satyajit Ray

  • Aparajito

    Satyajit Ray

  • Apur Sansar

    Satyajit Ray

    Saw it recently in theaters during the re-release because I wondered where Wes got his thing from.

  • 7

    Do the Right Thing

    Spike Lee

    Saw it with my whole family when I was seven. Sat in my uncle Linny’s lap, I think, or next to him. He covered my eyes when Mookie rubbed ice on Tina’s areola. I saw through his fingers. I thought I was those people, but I was a child.

  • 8

    The Last Picture Show

    Peter Bogdanovich

    Saw it in Paris; Wes hosted a screening. I didn’t know white Americans made good movies. Got me digging. Finally watched Citizen Kane because of it.

  • 9 (tie)


    Wes Anderson

  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    Wes Anderson

  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    Wes Anderson

  • The Darjeeling Limited

    Wes Anderson

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox

    Wes Anderson

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Wes Anderson

    Don’t know why he works on me, but he does. Saw Life Aquatic in a theater but was oblivious before that. Didn’t know you were allowed to go for the internal laugh before this.

  • 10

    Y tu mamá también

    Alfonso Cuarón

    Ja’Tovia, my be-all and end-all at the time, took me to see this in the theater. I didn’t know people could make movies that were art. So she started my career by taking me to this and then to Amélie not too long after that. I didn’t know that filmmakers were allowed to go off on tangents, and since I don’t think linearly, this introduced me to the idea that I had a place in cinema.