Is the Man who is Tall Happy?

by Joey Ayoub

“Nature is simple and it is the task of the scientist to show that it’s simple. And if we’ve not been able to do that, we have failed as scientists.” – Noam Chomsky

Linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky has teamed up with ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ director, Michel Gondry, to produce an ‘animated documentary’ called ‘Is the Man who is Tall Happy?’
It just so happens that ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is one of my favorite movies and that Chomsky is one of the main influences on my political thinking, so you can imagine how excited I am to see this movie.

The trailer has been released online and you can view it here

The screening is happening (for free) at MIT next week and this is what Gondry had to say about the movie (via Animated Matters ):

“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.

At the heart of the conversation, we encounter Noam’s theory of the emergence of language. Listening to Noam discuss this topic made we wonder what it would have been like to meet the astronomer Edwin Hubble and listen to him talk about the red shift he observed from distant galaxies and how it led to the theory of the big bang. Maybe that is a weak comparison, but it is another way of simply saying I felt privileged to have this dialogue.

In the end, what will stay the most with me in these discussions is Noam Chomsky’s humanity, the way he respects people’s different ways of life, their beliefs – and, above all, the way he often includes his wife, Carol Chomsky, in the conversations, and in some way keeps her alive and next to him.”

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