Thursday, October 8, 2015

Junjun (2015) New York Film Festival 2015

Paul Thomas Anderson's JUNUN is a film record of the recording of the title album byt Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express.

Actually what the film is is several pieces being played by the musicians while we watch them play and occasionally see sequences that are outside of the recording, say getting a harmonium repaired or eagles being fed while they fly just away from the fortress rampart. There is no explanation there is simply music and an occasional comment.

Seeing the film at the press screening on a huge screen with a booming sound track  it was a truly awesome experience. The film sucks you in and you want to bop around the theater. When the music and image click, which is frequently and reaches its peak at the feeding, the film delivers moments that are as good as you are likely to see in a film this year.

The question is how is this going to play on a smaller TV or computer screen? Its a serious question since the film will be available tomorrow (10/9) on the MUBI website which is how most people will see it. Will the sound be big enough? Will the image still dazzle?

I don't know.

I do know that the music kicks ass away from the film. I know this because after the press screening the writers were gifted with copies of the album and I've been bopping to it for a while now- dancing instead of writing.

I will say that despite the visceral nature of the music and image the film is ultimately a glorified home movie (it suns only 54 minutes) with the best score imaginable.  Watching it you kind of wonder if the footge was turned into a film in order to pay for the trip.

I'm being cynical, which is wrong. Under the right circumstance the film is one of the best experiences you can have at the movies.

If you want to see the film as it should be seen- BIG and LOUD it screens Sunday at the New York Film Festival Encore series. For info and tickets go here.

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