Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonny Greenwood Go To India In ‘Junun’ Trailer
Around this time last year, anticipations were heating up to a fever pitch over the impending release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s next big project, the labyrinthine stoner noir Inherent Vice. After months of rumor-mongering, inspecting set photos for the slightest whiff of a clue, and obsessing over casting announcements, audiences feasted their eyes on the first trailer for the film, and oh, was it glorious. But the rollout of PTA’s newest project, the music documentary Junun, has been decidedly more low-key. Though the latest from the master director debuted at the New York Film Festival last week, the feature has already been released online in full, only on video-streaming platform Mubi. The overall unveiling has been uncharacteristically unceremonious for a filmmaker of PTA’s stature; the announcement that NYFF had added it to their programming slate at all was relatively quiet compared to past works from PTA, and even with the film now available to public, it hasn’t caused quite an Inherent Vice-caliber hubbub.
But judging from the newly released trailer (embedded above), that’s no reason to suppose that Junun will be anything less than excellent, as audiences have come to expect from the director. The film’s short run-time (at 54 minutes, it’s more like a novella in moving pictures) and low public profile will probably constrain it to the footnotes of PTA’s career, but early reports have been generally positive. In his review at Variety, Nick Schager wrote that the film “finds the There Will Be Blood director painting an immersive portrait of harmonious dialogue between not only East and West, but also man and nature, the past the present.” Junun follows PTA and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood to India as the musician readies a new album with a host of international talents steeped in the area’s sonic traditions. The choice of topic makes perfect sense for PTA, who’s got plenty of experience as a director of music videos, and collaborated with Greenwood on the scores for There Will Be Blood, The Master, and last year’s Inherent Vice. The real surprises are visual: PTA eschewed his usual 35mm photography to shoot on digital video for the very first time, employing drone-camera rigs to achieve swooning shots that freely fly in, out, and around the bustling streets of India.
Grab your sitar, prepare to rock the f-word out, and take a look at the trailer above.
Junun is now available on Mubi.com.