Report: We Saw Paul Thomas Anderson And Thom Yorke's New Short Film 'Anima' In IMAX

on Thursday, June 27, 2019
Words: Saam Das

Anima Thom Yorke x Paul Thomas Anderson IMAX banner

We're in the queue for 'Anima', the new one-reeler from acclaimed writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, at Cineworld Leicester Square in central London. 'Anima' is the new short film (historically contained on one reel of film hence the 'one-reeler' moniker) in support of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's latest solo record of the same name.

We've been in the queue for what feels like an extraordinary amount of time. Not quite the three hours and eight minutes of one of PT Anderson's earliest films, 1999's 'Magnolia', but a good while. Indeed, 'Magnolia' seems apt to mention, with its intimate music video-esque feel, entwining its characters with Aimee Mann tracks - most notably, the devastatingly tender 'Wise Up'.

We look over to a clock in Leicester Square. We've only been waiting twenty minutes. And that's a clock from the Swiss so it must be right. The queue's far from the longest we've seen in the area, having joined London Film Festival press screenings that have reached four figures, although in this instance there's a good few hundred patient fans - our wristband says we're in the early #400s.

There's something of a 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' vibe in the air as some fortunate attendees have been handed the new 'Amina' record upon checking in. Gossip and mutterings regarding these 'golden tickets' of sorts suggest everything from a special guestlist to turning up early. Either way, as the queue begins to move, we're all grateful to be seeing the film for free in the epic IMAX format - and one of only two cinemas in the UK showing 'Anima'.

A large central row of reserved seats cause some consternation - mostly quiet shrugs except for one attendee, who exclaims impressively, "this is bullshit!" It's not quite Daniel Day Lewis's infamous milkshake-laden rant in arguably PT Anderson's most well-received film, 2007's 'There Will Be Blood', but the night is young.

David King, representing IMAX, welcomes us to the screening and mentions that we're one of only nineteen audiences worldwide to be viewing 'Anima' today in this format, ahead of its Netflix release. He also notes that this is a "special event with a very special guest" before long term Radiohead collaborator and 'Anima' producer Nigel Godrich is presented to the receptive audience.

Godrich apologises on behalf of Yorke and Anderson, claiming that they're both on holiday recovering from the long shoots of in Prague and the South of France for the film. He amusingly notes that "if anybody looks tired, it's because they should be asleep" before concluding that he's "excited to hear ['Anima'] at this volume", a nod to IMAX's monumental sound capabilities.

Thom Yorke - 'Not The News'

Certainly the beefy sound is beneficial from the outset, as the viewer is taken on a bumpy train journey accompanied by suitably swirling sounds. We won't go too much into 'Anima' the film, which as indicated by the opening shots, is quite the ride. It's an avant-garde romantic tale driven by Damien Jalet's mesmerising choreography, featuring Thom Yorke and his actress partner Dajana Roncione alongside a horde of uniformed dancers sharing co-ordinated rhythmic movements in a variety of locations.

'Anima' is absolutely something that could be shown in an art gallery, or perhaps even re-enacted live as immersive theatre - Yorke's music understandably feeling perfectly matched to the evocative visuals. Its electronic basis is piercing at times, calming at others, as tracks like the pulsating 'Not The News' and the meditative 'Dawn Chorus' are transitioned seamlessly through the film. A glorious, hypnotic fever dream.

'Anima' is out today on Netflix and the eponymous album is also out now via

msn spaces tracker