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435 Ratings

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

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

Directed by Michel Gondry
France, 2013
Documentary, Animation


A series of interviews featuring linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky done in hand-drawn animation.

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Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? Directed by Michel Gondry
While at first the drawings seem far too simplistic to be suited to the renowned linguist’s theories, the form ultimately suits the content. In choosing not to use concrete reality in favor of animation, the documentary itself becomes something of an experiment in representation, challenging the referential power of language.
February 15, 2014
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Gondry’s odd achievement in “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” has nothing to do with whether you agree with anything Chomsky has ever said, about language or the United States or anything else. This film captures Chomsky as a human being – a sweet and sad and rather lonely one, truth be told – without ever belittling his questing intelligence, his generosity or his ferocious assault on the entrenched narratives of power.
November 21, 2013
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This is no dry dorm-room bull session: Much like Richard Linklater’s cerebral Waking Life (2001), almost every frame of the film is animated. Gondry’s delightful stick-figure drawings—such as a living question mark ascending a staircase made of Whys—ably illustrate Chomsky’s concepts.
November 18, 2013
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