Paul Thomas Anderson Made a Documentary about Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood

     August 21, 2015


Here’s some good news to kick off your weekend — you’re going to get a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie a lot sooner than expected. Earlier this year, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood announced that he was heading to India to make a new record with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, what he didn’t announce was that long-time collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson would join him, camera in hand, to film a short documentary about “the camaraderie of artistic collaboration”. The film, Junun, will debut at the New York Film Festival this October.

I just love a good “secret” movie. In an age of constant spoilerific set photos and promotional tours, it’s always a lovely surprise when a filmmaker quietly absconds to make a project on the down low without any fanfare. They also seem to be a nice palate cleanser for filmmakers who get to make something peculiar or idiosyncratic without the pressure of public perception or studio budgets. After Avengers, Joss Whedon filmed an entire Shakespeare adaptation in his home, leading to the delightful Much Ado About Nothing. Box office titan Christopher Nolan recently went low-ley for his stop-motion animated short Quay. Now we get to look forward to Anderson’s Greenwood documentary, which will no doubt be visually and aurally gorgeous.

junun-jonny-greenwood-paul-thomas-andersonHere’s the full description from the NYFF website:

Earlier this year, Paul Thomas Anderson joined his close friend and collaborator Jonny Greenwood on a trip to Rajasthan in northwest India, where they were hosted by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, and he brought his camera with him. Their destination was the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, where Greenwood (with the help of Radiohead engineer Nigel Godrich) was recording an album with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and an amazing group of musicians: Aamir Bhiyani, Soheb Bhiyani, Ajaj Damami, Sabir Damami, Hazmat, and Bhanwaru Khan on brass; Ehtisham Khan Ajmeri, Nihal Khan, Nathu Lal Solanki, Narsi Lal Solanki, and Chugge Khan on percussion; Zaki Ali Qawwal, Zakir Ali Qawwal, Afshana Khan, Razia Sultan, Gufran Ali, and Shazib Ali on vocals; and Dara Khan and Asin Khan on strings. The finished film, just under an hour, is pure magic. Junun lives and breathes music, music-making, and the close camaraderie of artistic collaboration. It’s a lovely impressionistic mosaic and a one-of-a-kind sonic experience: the music will blow your mind.


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