For a moment in the late ’90s and early ’00s, Fiona Apple and the film director Paul Thomas Anderson were maybe the most interesting famous-people couple on the planet. And Anderson directed a number of Apple’s videos: her “Across The Universe” cover, “Fast As You Can,” “Limp,” the staggering “Paper Bag.” The couple eventually broke up, and the last of those videos came out 13 years ago. But now they’ve reunited for Apple’s new “Hot Knife” video, which is also Anderson’s first music video in 11 years.
“Hot Knife” ended Apple’s The Idler Wheel…, our favorite album of last year, and it felt like a bomb dropped at the end of the record: Look, I can do this, too. It’s a sort of ecstatic Broadway standard, the sort of thing that will loop in your head all day if you hear it once in the morning. (Be warned.) For the video, Anderson films Apple playing a drum and singing, and other than some split-screen action with the singer’s sister, Maude Maggart, that’s pretty much all you see for the entire course of the video. But Apple is a spellbinding performer, and Anderson knows how to capture an indelible image, so the entire video is riveting. Check it out below.
The Idler Wheel… is out now on Epic, and it is so good.