Thom Yorke and PTA explore personality theory in latest collaboration

In 2007, Jonny Greenwood of the English rock band Radiohead and American director Paul Thomas Anderson, often called PTA, collaborated for the epic drama film “There Will Be Blood”. The film became a cinematic masterpiece of the two artists who are known to be masters of their own crafts. Since then, the two have combined forces on two more movies, the “Inherent Vice” and “Phantom Thread”. It was only in 2016 that the filmmaker worked with the whole Radiohead band. 

On May 2016, prior to the release of their “A Moon Shaped Pool” album, the band launched the impressive video for their single “Daydreaming”.

Clips showing Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke walking through different settings including an interior of a stuffy house and a washed-out beach were ingeniously edited to look like a single shot. The Daydreaming video along with the videos for other singles in the album was directed by PTA.

PTA has also teamed up with Yorke in crafting a Netflix film which is inspired by the singer’s new solo album called ANIMA.

ANIMA is stirred by Yorke’s fascination with dreams and his perception of the uneasy turmoil that’s taking place in our society.

In the one-reeler, the story is told through songs from Yorke’s album and through the singer’s interpretative dance. Over the years, Yorke has proven himself to be a captivating and innovative dancer. The short film begins with a scene where Yorke is seen together with a group of drones clad in grey and moving robotically inside a commuter train. Yorke’s dance movements break the monotony the commuters’ movements. The film then shows Yorke together with a woman, and both of them engage in a graceful courtship dance where we are treated to one of the most memorable twirling scenes. The short film ends with Yorke dozing off inside the train, making viewers unsure whether the previous scenes were all part of Yorke’s dream.

But the short film is only a sneak peek of Yorke’s album which lasts for about 45 minutes. But both masterpieces explore Carl Jung’s theory on personality, psyche, and dreams. In the album and the film, Yorke tries to find answers to daunting questions about existentialism but doesn’t find answers, instead, he finds brief moments of inner peace.