Junun full movie review - Junun
Junun, the new documentary by Paul Thomas Anderson, is a visual and aural treat for music lovers and film lovers alike.
In February of this past year, Anderson went to Rajasthan to film the recording sessions for Jonny Greenwood's new album with Israeli composer, Shye Ben Tzur, and several Indian musicians. Anderson, only armed with a digital camera he managed to get through airport customs, captures the creative and radiant energy of the musicians as they record despite constant electricity problems. During their brief reprieves from recording, the musicians meditate and go into town to tune their instruments while Anderson follows them with his camera.
Although the film is fifty-three minutes long, Anderson brilliantly captures every second of the beauty of Rajasthan and the music with unbridled curiosity. Greenwood, the wunderkind guitarist for Radiohead and composer for Anderson's films, pensively plays with his guitar while Ben Tzur sways and sings getting lost in the music as the audience gets lost in the film. This is Anderson's first documentary and film shot entirely in digital format and he plays with the digital camera and tests the limits of how far he can capture the ethereal aura of Rajasthan whether it be filming a circle of musicians in a 360 degree shot or strapping the camera to a drone and flying it around. Along with the dizzying and stunning cinematography, the film celebrates the union of different musical genres with the same vibrant energy as Wim Wenders did with The Buena Vista Social Club. All and all, Junun is a joyous spectacle of sound and vision.