A creatively overflowing blast of awesome Afro-boho weirdness, young American director Terence Nance’s diaristic chronicle of an it’s-complicated connection with a woman named Namik (Namik Minter) pulls out all the stops in portraying personal heartbreak by any means necessary. Her beauty is, in fact, the only thing that’s simplified: the film offers chaptered sketches that include stop-motion animation, toon vignettes and various meta-musings on the movie you are watching. Verbose voiceovers and snatches of creaky 78rpm blues recordings fill the soundtrack.
It would all be horribly self-indulgent, were it not for Nance’s vivacious way of combining these strains into something unique. Such a nonstop go-for-broke sensibility can be too much of a good thing, of course, and there are moments when the filmmaker’s mix-and-match methodology feels tuned to the key of migraine. Still, it’s hard to think of a more original, mindblowing reinvention of the usual boy-meets-girl story.