Paul Thomas Anderson on Directing Thom Yorke for ‘Anima’: ‘I Kept Saying, More Buster Keaton!’

Variety | 6/26/2019 | Chris Willman
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Everything has seemed truly in its right place as director Paul Thomas Anderson has become increasingly associated with Radiohead over the years, from his use of Jonny Greenwood as his primary features scorer to his music videos for the band’s “A Moon Shaped Pool” album. Now he’s joined forces with Thom Yorke for “Anima,” a 15-minute film that premieres on IMAX screens Wednesday night and Netflix Thursday.

And, surprisingly, perhaps, the filmmaker tells Variety that this new piece had its impetus in “Suspiria,” a Yorke film-music crossover that Anderson was of course not involved with, but which left a feeling of “unfinished business” between the singer and choreographer Damien Jalet that they were able to revive in a big way here.

Anyone - Darius - Khondji - Cinematography - Anima

Really, really big: Anyone who can see Darius Khondji’s cinematography for “Anima” on an IMAX screen should, although there’s no harm nor foul if probably 99 percent of its viewers will stream it. Either way, there’s a lot of nearly breathtaking beauty to take in in those 15 minutes, from the opening shot of a subway train barreling through a tunnel to some tilted-stage dancing effects that Fred Astaire might approve of to an unexpectedly sexy urban pas de deux … to Yorke’s face itself, which is more expressive than we’ve ever seen it before, writ dozens of feet high in the cinema or a few inches on your smartphone.

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Elements - Anderson - Homage - Comedies - Clue

It’s so easy to get caught up in the surreal elements that you fail to notice how Anderson is paying homage to silent comedies of the 1920s. There is a clue in the description he offers for “Anima” as a “one-reeler,” which is defined in some of the movie’s materials as “a motion picture, especially a cartoon or comedy, of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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