Anima- Short Film Review

Anima is the latest solo album from Thom Yorke, the lead singer and writer of Radiohead. I've heard the album and like it just fine, not being the biggest Yorke fan, but the accompanying 15 minute one reel short film accompanying the release is a revelation as it feels like an interpretive dance art installation piece.
The whole 3 act performance features the tracks Not the News, Traffic and Dawn Chorus and is a marvel with beautiful choreography by Damien Jalet, who also created the dance pieces (the best bits in my opinion) of the recent Suspiria film, cinematography by Darius Khondji (who shot Suspiria) and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who should need very little introduction.

In the film, Thom Yorke dances and cuts shapes through a dystopic looking London, full of automoton like people seeming to fall asleep but doing about about their daily grind in their somnanbulist state. He sees another passenger on the train, but she leaves a bag on the train when it reaches a platform and he goes on a Buster Keaton-esque journey to return it to her.
Along the way he battles though weird geometry, high walls and people blocking his way. There are homages to various silent films here in my opinion.
The section where sleepwalking people are crawling along the angled floor in time reminded me of a scene from Fritz Lang's masterpiece Metropolis, where everyone works together in jarring motions to get the capitalist machine to work, its scary yet also strangely thrilling. In the final part, Yorke meets the lady he has been chasing and they dance together, holding each other together through herky-jerky movements before becoming more affectionate and intimate, this reminded me of capoeira.

The 3 part act can be interpreted in many ways but I think it represents our lives, the mundane, the frustrating and then those magical moments when we meet someone, only to wake up but with that glow of the memory.

Not many artists are as pioneering as Radiohead or Thom Yorke about the way they distribute and promote their music without seeming like sellouts or it seeming cynical or gimmicky. Whilst not the biggest Radiohead or Yorke fan, I do appreciate what they do and this new short film feels quite special; it reminds me of the world exclusive music video releases which had the world sitting in front of the telly as you weren't sure if and when you'd ever see it again, it feels like an event and in this day and age of streaming 24 media that's an astonishing thing.

The cinematography is stunning!

The cinematography is stunning!