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The Unusual Subjects
3.5
361 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
The Unusual Subjects

Synopsis

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

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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The style, which alternately resembles early Disney, Jan Švankmajer, Keith Harring and Norman McLaren, is colourful and intricate, though never so detailed that it might take away from the power of the words being spoken on the soundtrack… It’s perhaps the director’s most cogent and heartfelt film in some time…
February 11, 2014
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…Gondry proceeds to laboriously hand-animate a series of conversations conducted with Chomsky over the past few years. Given that these morphing, mercurial sketches are even more beholden to Gondry’s halfway-grating/halfway-charming personality of wide-eyed, quasi-autistic bemusement, the whole wacky setup comes off like an intellectual contrivance. It would have been more honest for Gondry simply to say, “I wanted to draw it.”
February 08, 2014
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