Animateka 2015

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Michel Gondry / France / 2013 / 88 min / English

Through a series of interviews, Michel Gondry illustrates Noam Chomsky’s theories in an animated documentary, where Gondry’s creativity and imagination serve Chomsky’s intellectual rigour. The lively, sometimes intricated, often touching and always very humane dialogue with Chomsky is depicted naturally by the stream of Gondry’s subjective animation. Using animated drawings, Michel Gondry brings to light Noam Chomsky both as an eminent professor and as a man.

"In one of the first interviews I gave about my film debut, I was asked what I would like to direct the most. I was looking for the most counterintuitive response: shoot an animated documentary. I like unreasonable ideas because they need very special focus to be materialized. And this extra bit of work gives them their quality. And well, yes it is unreasonable to plan to do an animated documentary: the lack of control necessary to the trueness of the documentary is contradicted by the way animation is supposed to be executed. – Michel Gondry

At the heart of the conversation, we witness Noam’s explanation of a possible emergence of language in history. And I repeat to myself, 24 time per second that I was there, listing to what was said. Like it would have been like to listen to Edwin Hubble talking about the red shift he observed from distant galaxies and how it led to the Big Bang theory. Well this is a lame comparison but a long way to say how I felt privileged. Yet what is the most remarkable in this discussion is Noam Chomsky’s humanity, the way he respects people’s different ways of life, their beliefs and above all, the way he often includes his wife in the conversations, maybe to keep her alive next to him."
– Michel Gondry 

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