Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:28

Noam Chomsky answers, 'Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?' + Video

Noam Chomsky answers, 'Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?' michelgondry.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

Put one imaginative French director--Michel Gondry--and an esoteric MIT philosopher and linguist--Noam Chomsky--together for a casual, wide-ranging conversation. The result is Gondry's clever "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" It includes only scattered inserts of Professor Chomsky, shot on a 16-mm Bolex camera, since Gondry favors presenting the topics discussed in vividly colorful, rapid-fire animation.

This 85-minute encounter between Gondry and Chomsky humanizes both men. Known for the challenging "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Science of Sleep," Gondry admits to nerves before the meeting. Chomsky is relaxed and accessible, perhaps not what we'd expect from the man who polled as the "world's top public intellectual" in 2005, known for political debates largely unexplored here.

To be sure, Chomsky's ideas never come off as shallow in addressing, for example, language acquisition, cognitive science, abstract psychic continuity, digital infinity, and more. Chomsky also describes his relationship with his parents, his painful personal experiences with anti-Semitism, how he came to pursue linguistics, the near impossibility of talking about his beloved, deceased wife Carol, and the joys of his three children. Illustrating all this, Gondry writes text on the screen and swirls through shapes and figures that morph rapidly. The visual barrage, at times, distracts from and makes difficult a focus on the ideas but is also, always, remarkable.

The playful, lively animation and the quick pace of the editing testify to Gondry's art school and music video background. Using his considerable cinematic savvy, Gondry has found a way to rescue an 85-minute intellectual exchange from any tedium. And he interrogates the title question, "Is the man who is tall happy?", often associated with Chomsky who explains structural versus linear proximity issues in forming the question, and the sophisticated grasp of linguistics at a very early age.

The St. Louis premiere of "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" is at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11th through Sunday, April 13th. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

May
Saturday
30

Brunch at the Stage: The Ozark Highballers

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


May
Saturday
30

Official Pride St. Louis Kick Off Party

Please be our guest for this event at the only Official Pride St Louis Kick Off Party. Enjoy a complimentary bar featuring Pinnacle Vodka, Cruzan Rum, Sauza Tequlia, Jagermeister and Jagermeister Spice, Red Bull, select beers from...


June
Saturday
06

Brunch at the Stage: Roger Netherton and Friends

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

4 users and 11091 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook