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An interpretation of a man talking to himself, showing a man in a hamster wheel, is one of the illustrative images in Michel Gondry's animated documentary "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" Courtesy Sundance Selects
Movie review: Chomsky gets animated in documentary ‘Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?’

First Published Dec 12 2013 03:01 pm • Last Updated Dec 17 2013 02:47 pm

In the documentary "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?", Noam Chomsky proceeds to blow director Michel Gondry’s mind, and Gondry works hard to do the same to us.

Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") interviewed Chomsky, 85, the great MIT linguist and philosopher, about topics ranging from grammar (which "is" gets moved in the title to turn it from a statement into a question) to our perception of the universe — for example, pondering if a cutting from a tree would be the same tree if you planted it in the ground and the cutting grew.

At a glance


‘Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?’

Opens Friday, Dec. 13, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably PG-13 for some mature images; 89 minutes.

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Gondry, who admits to feeling stupid during the conversation, then added his own animated images to the discussion. Some of the images enrich the topics, while others are merely whimsically decorative, but they never are a distraction from Chomsky’s thought-provoking (and mostly nonpolitical) musings.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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