When he isn’t working with iconic rock band Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood has a side gig providing movie scores for director Paul Thomas Anderson, including There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Inherent Vice, so, clearly, they have a good working relationship. As such, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Anderson has directed a documentary about Greenwood.
In particular, Anderson’s documentary is about Greenwood’s trip to India to work on an album with the Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur. The process of making the album has been captured by Anderson for the documentary Junun, which will debut at the New York Film Festival, which begins September 25 and ends October 11. Inherent Vice also debuted at the same festival last year, so, clearly, Anderson is a fan.
The New York Film Festival provides the following description of the film:
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.
Anderson is one of the best filmmakers working today, so it will be very interesting to see what he brings to his first documentary. A great director making a movie about a great musician working with a bunch of interesting, eclectic musicians in India? Sounds like something worth getting excited for.