Junjun (USA, 2015)

jonny-greenwood-junun-album-newDirected by: Paul Thomas Anderson. I saw this at the forceful insistence of a good friend of mine who is as big a PTA fanatic as anyone I know (the only one I know, I’m fairly certain, who refers to Paul Thomas Anderson as PTA!). And although I had a ton of other stuff to watch, I’m glad I took an hour or whatever out of my day and gave this one a peep, because it’s really amazing. Mostly, the value lies in the exposure I got to this music, which I don’t even know the name of. The film is billed largely as a “Jonny Greenwood” project, but it’s obvious Greenwood is there just to lend the film its token Westernized, pop star quality in order to get funding and distribution, and good on him. In the music itself, he plays a tastefully subdued role, both onscreen (usually off in the corner by himself) and musically (tastefully adding to a part of the whole, never overtaking the sound). From what I can gather (the film is scant on direct exposition thank god), the prime mover is an Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur, who looks like he could be in Tame Impala, and he’s corralled this great Indian band The Rajasthan Express—a mix of traditional Indian instruments, heavy on percussion and group vocals, and a brass section (imagine what Beirut would sound like if it were still really exciting and you didn’t have to hear that mopey fucking singing all the time). The movie is all about the music, the recording process, the humans making the music, and you can really just get caught up listening to the music, which again is really really really good. There’s not much to it other than that, but it’s a great little movie, and a really cool thing for MUBI to premiere. If you don’t know about MUBI, check it out, it’s pretty sweet.

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One response to “Junjun (USA, 2015)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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