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The Smile 'Friend Of A Friend' by Paul Thomas Anderson

Rob Ulitski - 29th Jan 2024

The Smile give a private performance to the most challenging of audiences, in Paul Thomas Anderson's charming promo for Friend Of A Friend: a class of nursery school-aged children. 

It's a brave feat, giving a surprise performance to some of the most brutal critics on Earth, who have yet to develop the social skills to hide their true feelings. In this respect, Anderson's latest video for The Smile is a wonderful experiment.

The band - Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood and Tom Skinnner - get on with the job of performing a song which may be the their finest achievement to date. They set up shop in the school hall whilst the kids file in to the benches and then spectate, giving unfiltered reactions that range from apathetic to awestruck (usually when the lightshow begins). 

It's a wonderful visual, meditating on the relationship between musicians and their audience, and builds to a poignant, engaged finale, which will warm up even the coldest of hearts. Make sure you stay to the very end...

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Rob Ulitski - 29th Jan 2024


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Paul Thomas Anderson
Shirley O’Connor
Production Company
Executive Producer
Dom Thomas
Executive Producer
Morgan Clement
Executive Producer
Laura Hegarty
Production Manager
Bugs Hartley
1st AD
Adam somner


Focus Puller
Olly Driscol
2nd AC
Glenn Coulman
Film Lab


Jonny Franklin
Key Grip
Danny Brennan
Key Grip
Max Brunner

Rob Ulitski - 29th Jan 2024

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