Are specials the next frontier for Netflix? The recent The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience and the upcoming Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein (a mockumentary starring Stranger Things’ David Harbour) are both strange projects that clock in at about a half hour, and are presented without any real affiliation to any other projects on the platform.
It’s a marked shift in direction for the streaming giant, which has focused on original movies and TV rather than “specials” like the aforementioned comedies, or Beyoncé’s one-off Homecoming, which debuted in April. It may also be something of a cure for Netflix’s original series’ tendency to come off as a bit bloated, filling in unnecessarily long episodes and seasons with dead air.
The company’s most recently announced project is the musical short film Anima, scored by and starring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch-Drunk Love, Phantom Thread). Though it fits with the other specials on a technical level, it’s a definite shift from the more comical (Bash Brothers, Frankenstein, or even Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special, which clocks in at closer to an hour) or documentary (Homecoming) shorts the platform has released so far.
The film is a “one-reeler,” defined by the teaser as a movie contained on one reel of film, usually running 10 to 12 minutes. Described as a “mind-bending visual piece,” the film is set to hit Netflix on June 27. The company will also make it available to see in IMAX in theaters on June 26. If that weren’t catnip enough for cinephiles, the film’s cinematographer is Darius Khondji, who also shot Delicatessen, The Lost City of Z, Okja, and the upcoming Safdie brothers film Uncut Gems.
Take a look at some more preview images below.
The film will premiere in conjunction with Yorke’s new solo album of the same name, and will be set to three songs from the nine-track (or 10, on the vinyl release) album.