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Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?

MacGuffin · 5 · 1046

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on: October 29, 2013, 07:52:26 AM

Release date: TBD

Starring: Michel Gondry; Noam Chomsky

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Premise: A series of interviews featuring linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky done in hand-drawn animation.
Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. - Andy Warhol

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Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 09:46:02 AM
This guy just fell off the face of the earth didn't he? He makes one personal movie that no one liked then another that was stupid cos he can't speak English for shit, then another that was supposed to be a huge hit but failed because well he would've realised this had he understood the language the script was written in... and now he's nobody. Even his new videos suck. It's like he got body snatched.

Then of course he did away with scripts altogether and made a couple of docos, one about someone else who has fallen off the face of the earth and another about his aunt that obviously no one was gonna care about. And then that french movie which got zero attention outside his country.

His videos were SO amazing, besides Cunningham no other video director showed as much promise. So did he live up to expectation? Eternal Sunshine remains his masterpiece, what else apart from his videos has really been as career defining? At this point even his biggest apologists would struggle to defend half his filmography.

I think he realises all of this. It seems that this doco is a direct response to this realisation, every single one of the above points is addressed by it:

1. he has gone back to working with someone who can actually speak English. In this case one of the absolute masters of the language whose concepts have changed the way we understand language itself. He must think he can't go wrong if he just uses the words of this expert in the thing he sucks so much at. And he's right.

2. It is kind of like a music video, he's just illustrating this dude's ideas, maybe trying to find a place where their intellects can meet.. exactly the way I would describe his genius work with Bjork and some of his other perfect music videos. Although he had more than a cursory understanding of music having been a drummer in that one band.

3. He literally acknowledges his limitations in the introduction.

I just feel like it's his best opportunity to climb out from his deepening irrelevance. Remember when he was going to save cinema? The he won the Oscar for best original screenplay (credit mostly to Kaufman let's be honest) and it all went to shit. Now Spike Jonze is going to win the same award.. what a world.
under the paving stones.


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Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 10:09:21 AM
Michel says: "I've been interviewing Noam many times and I took all the sound, because I barely shot him -- I shot him a few occasions but mostly it's sound. I'm doing it in animation so I have my animation camera, it's a Bolex 16mm. And I'm doing all the drawings. It's something I do every night when I go home. It's very exciting to be very complex because we talk about linguistics -- and it's captivating, because he has this very personal and convincing views on how language was created as a genetic mutation more than a slow, evolutionary process. And I'm illustrating that. My conversations with Professor Chomsky were lively, sometime complex, always very human. Through my illustrations, we follow the winding path of my halting and incomplete understanding. Noam is often patient, sometime less so. The trail always follows unexpected bends. The process and logic of Noam's stream of ideas have determined the transitions and evolution of my drawings. The concept of 'animated documentary' finds a perfect justification here."

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Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 09:46:55 PM
This is on netflix instant now.  Anyone seen it?  Gondry + animation + Chomsky sounds like a must watch for me. 


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Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 04:06:04 PM
I have. Lamentably, it rather sucks.