I love the filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. I love the band HAIM. I love the Los Angeles mainstay Canter’s Deli. Am I going to love a PTA-directed HAIM music video set in Canter’s Deli? Buddy — you know I am. Anderson has debuted his newest collaboration with HAIM, a music video called “Man from the Magazine,” and it is a tight, simple, slice of simple delight.
Lead singer Danielle Haim is the only member of the band we see in the video (though the entire band will ostensibly show up in Anderson’s newest feature), and she seems to performing live to a stripped down performance of a particularly stripped down cut from their 2020 masterpiece Women in Music Pt. III. She plays a worker at Canter’s Deli (continuing this album’s obsession with the joint, from the cover art to their recent live streamed performance), taking orders from customers on various cuts of deli meats. She seems a little annoyed… and then she starts singing. But the video doesn’t suddenly shift into a fantastical “music video” mode. Instead, Haim sings right to her customers’ faces as if they’re still having a conversation. She even keeps working. Anderson lenses this all in simple shot-reverse-shot coverage, feeling less like a show-offy opportunity to try some new tricks, and more like an elegant way to frame a dialogue scene in a narrative feature. And then, just over two minutes, it’s over. A perfect piece of musical art!
Check out HAIM’s “Man from the Magazine” music video, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, below. For more on my PTA musings, here’s my ranking of his films!