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What To Watch On Netflix That’s New This Week (June 23-29)

One of the best Netflix Originals of the year just debuted and it's only 15 minutes long.
"ANIMA" on Netflix.
"ANIMA" on Netflix.

The Netflix highlight: “ANIMA,” music special.

What’s up: Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” “Phantom Thread”) teamed up for a short film that showcases songs from Yorke’s new solo album of the same name. The film follows Yorke’s clown theater-esque performance, as he bumbles through a gray city landscape with exaggerated motions that wordlessly express both comedy and drama. Falling asleep on the train in the first scene, Yorke’s character dreams of finding love and ruminates on love lost.

Sum-up: Alongside his feature films, Anderson has made numerous music videos over the last few decades with artists including Fiona Apple, Joanna Newsom, Haim and Yorke’s band Radiohead. With the extended, 15-minute “ANIMA,” Anderson has clearly mastered the form, teasing out the meaning behind Yorke’s often enigmatic lyrics. The choice to cast Yorke as a clown falling his way through a dystopian landscape fits well with the persona that Yorke has cultivated. So when the film takes a turn and Yorke’s character briefly experiences hope, the weight of the moment lands with such incredible impact that it perhaps even made me well up.

Heads-up: A silent comedy based on interpretive dance and backed by sad songs may make for great art, but it also means you have to be in the right mood for “ANIMA.” I wouldn’t recommend firing this up over the weekend among friends after pitching it as “a new Radiohead project from the guy behind that funny milkshake scene in ‘There Will Be Blood.’”

Look up: For all his serious work, Anderson has comedy bones in his body (and he’s married to Maya Rudolph, one of the funniest people on the planet). Listen to Anderson’s appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” to hear a side of him that’s probably not what you’d expect after watching his recent movies.

Read on for more recommendations and news from the week.

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Here’s the trailer:

What Else Is New This Week On Netflix

Netflix did not add notable Originals this week besides “ANIMA,” so here are two non-Original movies joining the service.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” ― This won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature earlier in 2019. The story follows a group of Spider-Men from various realities teaming up to stop an existential threat to the universe.

“20th Century Women” ― The film, which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 2017, follows a group of women collectively raising a teenage boy in late-1970s California.

A Couple Of Netflix News Stories From This Week

1. “The Office” will leave Netflix at the end of 2020, as NBCUniversal will put it exclusively on its forthcoming ad-supported streaming service. Apparently various companies unsuccessfully bid for the rights to the sitcom, with Netflix offering $90 million a year.

2. Netflix announced a few Originals that will star A-listers. George Clooney will direct and star in a film adaptation of the novel “Good Morning, Midnight.” And Ryan Murphy will produce “The Prom,” a movie musical based on the Broadway hit, starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Ariana Grande, Awkwafina and James Corden.

And here are the shows and movies that joined Netflix throughout the week:

June 24

  • “Forest of Piano” (Season 2, Netflix Anime)

June 25

  • “Mike Epps: Only One Mike” (Netflix Original)

June 26

  • “The Golem”
  • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
  • “The Zookeeper”

June 27

  • “ANIMA” (Netflix Original)
  • “Answer for Heaven” (Netflix Original)

June 28

  • “20th Century Women”
  • “7SEEDS” (Netflix Anime)
  • “Dope” (Season 3, Netflix Original)
  • “Exhibit A” (Netflix Original)
  • “Instant Hotel” (Season 2, Netflix Original)
  • “Motown Magic” (Season 2, Netflix Family)
  • “Paquita Salas” (Season 3, Netflix Original)
  • “The Chosen One” (Netflix Original)

June 29

  • “Scare Tactics” (Seasons 4 & 5)