|Andrew reviews the new Paul Thomas Anderson documentary released exclusively on MUBI, Junun|
|Paul Thomas Anderson |
and Jonny Greenwood
Enter what is ostensibly the first lark and technically first documentary piece from celebrated event-driven auteur Paul Thomas Anderson: the Indian studio recording music documentary Junun. After limited screenings in New York and Los Angeles, the 54 minute Junun debuted exclusively on MUBI which is more or less the streaming media equivalent of the ill-fated but legendary Z Channel. Cited as the filmmaker's first experience working with the digital medium, Junun tags along with lead Radiohead guitarist/film-composer Jonny Greenwood to Mehrangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India to assist Isreali artist Shye Ben Tzur with the production of his new album. Very much a clandestine release with little publicity beyond advertisements from MUBI and film enthusiast websites like the A.V. Club, Junun appeared online last Friday and will only be posted for a short time before being circulated out in lieu of another title per MUBI's policy, meaning your chances of seeing it are slim. The big question on everyone's mind of course is how does Paul Thomas Anderson's filmmaking style lend itself to the documentary form?
|"Hey you! Shut up back there, |
we're trying to make a record!"
In any event, if Anderson's goal in this little side project was to shed some light on a yet to be discovered world of international musical camaraderie, then he brilliantly succeeded! Those expecting what is technically the eighth offering in the distinguished auteur's oeuvre to be on par with There Will Be Blood or The Master, let it be said that Anderson wasn't aiming for those kind of heights to begin with and people should not get their hopes up. As a B-roll jam session, a chance to see how Anderson fares with digital photography and lastly an eye opener on a style of music relatively new to Western audiences, I will concede Junun is indeed time well spent. Nothing Earth shattering but a cool experience nevertheless.
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