Paul Thomas Anderson Shines Spotlight on Jonny Greenwood in New Doc
Published Aug 21, 2015Paul Thomas Anderson recently showed off his music video making skills in the latest from Joanna Newsom, but now the acclaimed director has set his sights on a new musical subject for an upcoming documentary. Titled Junun, the film will follow the process behind Jonny Greenwood's latest project — an album that was recorded in India alongside Israeli composer Shye Ben-Tzur and 12 Indian musicians.
The 54-minute long documentary is slated for release at the New York Film Festival, which runs from September 25 to October 11. A statement from the festival about the project reads:
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.
As previously reported, the new material combines Arabic, Indian and Western influences. Greenwood described the album's aesthetic as akin to James Brown's music. "It's that kind [of music]: Joyful and with dancing going on," he said. "It's not really rock music. We'll see how the record sounds."
In the past, Greenwood has collaborated with Anderson, providing film scores for Inherent Vice, The Master and There Will Be Blood.