Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

(An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky)
(2013)

Michel Gondry, the critically praised filmmaker behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mood Indigo, reconstructs a filmed conversation between himself and philosopher Noam Chomsky through hand-drawn animation.

Flicks Review

Ouch. Sore brain. What else would you expect from this challenging and visually over-stimulating meeting of two of our most distinguished thinkers? In animating his conversation with Noam Chomsky, film-maker Michel Gondry finds unexpected parallels between academia and art, his nutty illustrations helping to make sense of Chomsky’s views on life, linguistics and everything in between. Given the concentration required to keep up with his often paradoxical ideas, and Gondry’s kaleidoscopic visuals, it’s no wonder this is mind-blowing. So much so I had to periodically look away from the screen.


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY MaiaMcnz lister

Noam Chomsky is indeed one of the (if not the most) incredible thinkers of our time. It's worth watching this film twice - let it wash over you and see what sticks. I don't think you can or should try to watch the film and expect to understand it in a conventional manner.


Movie fans may know French director, Michel Gondry, from the highs of 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', and lows of 'The Green Hornet'. If you’re a fan of philosophy, then you’ll be no stranger to America’s foremost analytic philosopher, cognitive scientist, political commentator and cunning linguist, Noam Chomsky. Throw them together in a room and you get 88-minutes of animated conversation – literally.

Gondry’s hand-drawn doodles transform what is basically a heavy,... More intellectual interview into a dazzling display of subjective thoughts. This is cinema as self-indulgence, and that’s the point. Gondry is keen to point out that any filmed conversation is edited, and subjective. Hence the doodles – there lest we forget this is Gondry’s recollection of a chat about religion, childhood memory, linguistics and life.

As Chomsky says: “Learning comes from asking.” Whether you learn from Gondry’s film will depends on where you draw the line between “playful” and “pretentious”, “art” and “annoying,” “Chomsky” and “Gondry”.Hide


The Press Reviews

91% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • In the nicest possible way, this is teacher-and-pupil stuff. Full Review

  • Gondry's delightful stick-figure drawings-such as a living question mark ascending a staircase made of Whys-ably illustrate Chomsky's concepts. Full Review

  • Even though Gondry and Chomsky's very different sensibilities don't mesh in such a way that either man's work gains substantially from the alliance, they're each such good company individually that [this] is still entertaining. Full Review

  • An almost entirely hand-drawn, animated film that was clearly a labor of love for the director and has enough charm to reach a wider audience than his other recent docs. Full Review

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