Thom Yorke is at it again and, yup, every silver lining has a storm cloud
If you love his gloom-laden world view, 'Anima' is definitely for you
If you’ve had a rough commute this morning, take consolation from the fact that at least you aren’t in Thom Yorke’s sad shoes. In the Paul Thomas Anderson “one reeler” – what would in the old days be known as a very pretentious music video – accompanying the Radiohead frontman’s third solo album he gets caught in a subway barrier, is menaced by synchronised dancers in minimalist formal wear and has a bucketful of existential woe splashed over his head.
But there’s a happy ending as after 15 minutes of spooky boogying and glitchy rhythms Yorke ends up coasting through Prague on a tram with a new girlfriend. The object of his affection is portrayed by the musician’s real life partner, Italian actress Dajana Roncione. Her slightly self aware presence – at one point, amid the woe and the wonky choreography, she seems on the verge of cracking up – gives the 15-minute featurette a gloss of tenderness.
The gloom is further alleviated by Anderson. Halfway through his film – released on Netflix, though the director would rather you caught it on IMAX – he essentially plonks Yorke into an avant-garde Buster Keaton tribute. Here the singer and a dozen dancers climb a slope only to tumble downwards over and over (Anderson, who clearly has extensive knowledge of tortured nerd-pop, appears to be referencing the videos to Talking Heads’s Once in a Lifetime and New Order’s True Faith). ..