Friday, 3 January 2014

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

This is an animated documentary featuring conversations with Noam Chomsky. Your tolerance may vary.

This movie is partly a historical account of Noam himself. We find out about his childhood, his education, and his family life. The other part is about language learning, delving into what Noam thinks about how people think about things, and some interesting points of language. (The title sentence comes from asking about how to turn "the man who is tall is happy" into a question, which is just moving the 'is', but which 'is'?)

I would say this movie is more about the life of Noam than his language ideas. And also somewhat about how the filmmaker made this film. It is animated, so aside from some insert shots of actual footage (over which we then get the distracting sound of the Bolex camera added), it is all hand drawn animations. Which may somewhat relate to what is being discussed, but can get rather abstract. In fact, it, especially the sound when the filmmaker's accent is hard to get through and Noam himself can be rather flat, is rather distracting from the topic at hand.

I was hoping for more about Noam's ideas of language, which I am vaguely aware of and would like to know more, but this isn't really the film for that.


No comments: