It’s made clear that Quentin Tarantino is one of them, not just in a quote from the dance scene in “Pulp Fiction” but in Krstic’s frenetic magpie style, which pingpongs restlessly between the car chases and nail-biting stunts of classic action films to the femmes fatales and sleepy-eyed nihilism of film noir. We meet Dr. Ruben Brandt on a train (hallo, Dr. Freud!), where he is being terrorized by dark visions and imagined endangerments. Krstic then zooms over to Paris, where a sleekly glamorous cat burglar named Mimi drives her snazzy red Mercedes convertible like a cross between Steve McQueen and a brunette even more long-legged Charlize Theron.
Mimi’s path eventually crosses with Dr. Brandt’s — a hot-air balloon is involved, for some reason — and “Ruben Brandt, Collector” begins to center on a grand plot to cure his obsession with certain works of art by indulging it completely and nefariously.
Overplotted, convoluted and self-consciously weird, “Ruben Brandt, Collector” takes viewers on a whirligig tour through a carefully aestheticized dreamscape, with Krstic playfully re-creating works by Velázquez, Manet, Gauguin and Warhol, and with his own style evoking Fernando Botero, Otto Dix and — when it comes to his penchant for giving characters one or two extra eyes — Pablo Picasso. It becomes something of a parlor game to spot every reference in a never-ending shuffle of winks, nods and homages. Then it becomes tiresome to try to follow a nonsensical plot and coequal obsessions with sex, death and art. Something this larky should be swifter and more compact; instead, “Ruben Brandt, Collector” feels like a sneakily pretentious pastiche, and not much else.
R. At Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Contains nude images and some violence. In English and occasional French, Italian and Russian with subtitles. 96 minutes.