I can’t imagine I’m the only one here, but I love when a filmmaker takes the time to direct a commercial or music video outside their feature films. For one thing it’s the chance to see more of their signature style, but in a very different temporal and structural framework. Take Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest directorial effort, a four-minute music video of Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife”. There’s no story to speak of, instead relegating the focus to Apple herself, pounding on drums or simply singing to herself.
If I can get away with deep analysis of a music video, the same ripe peach-toned visual sensibility Anderson brought to The Master is present, but also a strange sense of isolation. Though she’s all by herself, Apple never once looks directly into the camera, reminding as that she’s not singing too us, but to herself. It’s a dialectic with herself on the different shades of her love or attraction to an unseen male. Admittedly that is over-analysis of something that can be received on a simpler level of sensuous excitement, but feel free to take a look at it yourself here. Maybe it’ll tide you over while he’s hard at work on Inherent Vice, which may even be finished in time for release next year. Wouldn’t that be something?