Every Paul Thomas Anderson Music Video, Ranked – Paste Magazine

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has always stood out for his unique musical sensibilities. In Boogie Nights (1997), he seamlessly weaves major hits like Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” into the film’s narrative. In Magnolia (1999), he goes as far as to have the film’s characters sing along to an Aimee Mann song in the film’s emotional centerpiece. In There Will Be Blood (2007), The Master (2012), Inherent Vice (2014) and Phantom Thread (2017), Anderson teamed up with Radiohead mastermind Jonny Greenwood to create some of the most breathtaking scores in film history. And most recently, the dynamic duo teamed up again with Licorice Pizza, a film that blends Greenwood’s musical cues and a glorious jukebox compilation of 1970s hits.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that some of Anderson’s best work comes in the form of his music videos. From his offbeat creations with his longtime partner Fiona Apple to his pared-down video collaborations with Radiohead and, of course, his iconic, Los Angeles-based productions with sister band Haim, all 21 of Anderson’s music videos are works of art in the same right as his feature films. Here’s a definitive ranking of them, from great to greatest.

Anderson and Apple dated from 1997-2000, and made four music videos together during that time. Produced in 2000, the music video for “Limp” showcases Apple’s raw talent, charisma and snarky lyrics, as well as the adventurous filmmaking style that Anderson leaned into during that time. The music video, which exhibits Apple skulking around a house late at night, plays with hazy cross-fades and stop-motion-style editing to make for a disorienting experience, all in service of the lyrics, which chronicle a confusing, unpleasant, anger-inducing relationship. The video is impressive and emotionally resonant, if not slightly lacking the confidence and sense of coherence that Anderson would later master.

One of the most fruitful collaborations of Anderson’s career has been his with angsty powerhouse rock band Radiohead. Greenwood has been responsible for half of Anderson’s film scores. This partnership started in 2007, when Greenwood designed a menacing orchestral score for There Will Be Blood, and continued through 2017’s Phantom Thread. During that time, Anderson also conceived a couple of music videos for Radiohead. In 2016, he made a video for A Moon Shaped Pool’s “The Numbers.” Filmed on two park benches in Tarzana, California, and featuring just Greenwood and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, the video captures the two strumming along to the droning melody, accompanied by a Roland CR-78 drum machine. This is definitely one of Anderson’s more straightforward videos, but its simplicity does wonders in showcasing Yorke and Greenwood’s unique talents and charisma. Now someone please tell me what Greenwood is talking about when he ends the video by turning off the drums and saying “probably.”

“Man From the Magazine” is one of Anderson and Haim’s most pared-down collaborations. This 2020 video …….


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