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‘Punch Drunk Love’ Composer Jon Brion Explores Film’s Musical Rhythms, Compares It To An Old Hollywood Musical

Paul Thomas Anderson's beloved romance is now officially a member of The Criterion Collection.

"Punch Drunk Love"

“Punch-Drunk Love”

The Criterion Collection

You know it’s a great day when Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch Drunk Love” finally arrives on The Criterion Collection. Both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the unconventional romance are now available to purchase, and the sets include some pretty incredible exclusives, including a restored HD digital transfer of the film, supervised by Anderson himself, a handful of deleted scenes and an essay by Miranda July. Also included is an interview with Jon Brion, the composer behind the film’s landmark score.

READ MORE: Watch: 20-Minute Video Essay Explores Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Punch-Drunk Love,’ Early Shorts & Comedy Sketches

At the time of the film’s production, Brion was known for his work with music artists like Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple. He worked closely with Anderson to craft the unique score of the film, which mixes passionate orchestral melodies with percussive dissonance to evoke the push and pull attraction between Adam Sandler’s Barry Egan and Emily Watson’s Lena Leonard.

Criterion is offering up some excerpts from its Brion interview, and we’ve included both below for your viewing pleasure. The first finds him explaining how the score came to be. Anderson approached Brion and asked him to come up with rhythms that he could listen to while prepping the many long takes the film required. Brion was attracted to this way of working since it allowed him to control the tempo of each scene through music. “The tempo is inherent with what’s being shot,” he says.

The second sees Brion talking about “Punch Drunk Love” at large, explaining how it’s basically an old Hollywood musical in which nobody breaks out in song. Head to Criterion now and get your copy of “Punch Drunk Love” today.

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