Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

Synopsis: A series of interviews featuring linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky done in hand-drawn animation.
Director(s): Michel Gondry
Production: IFC Films
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

how to get me to swallow

that oatmeal.

But I must have sat there

for a long time.

I was a stubborn kid.

I was not going to eat

that oatmeal.

I remember that very well,

and that had to be at about

16 months or 17 months,

and I remember other things

from that time.

I was in a nursery school,

I remember,

and sort of standing there

looking around,

wondering what all these kids

were up to and why and so on.

And do you think it's connected

with the development of language,

the formation of memories?

Does it correspond to where

the brain start to grasp...

A lot is being learned

about language acquisition.

The more intensively

the topic is studied,

the more sophisticated

the research techniques,

the more we learn

that children know

quite a lot of language,

much more than you would expect,

before they can exhibit

any of that knowledge.

The direct evidence about this...

and there's also indirect evidence.

So just to mention

some of the indirect evidence,

there is a technique

of teaching language

to the deaf-blind.

Actually, my wife did

a lot of the work on this.

It's called the Tadoma method.

Yes, with the hand.

Well, what they do

is teach the person

to put their hand on someone's face

and, using the motions

of the face and the vocal cords,

to interpret what you're saying.

Extremely little, very little

information comes through.

But people get

a very satisfactory knowledge

of language from that,

I mean, so much so

that you have to do

pretty complex tests

to see what they don't know.

However, they have never

succeeded in using this method

for people who lost sight

and hearing

before about 18 months old.

What seems to be the case

is that during

the earlier exposure,

where the child is not

manifesting very much knowledge,

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Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry (French: [miʃɛl ɡɔ̃dʁi]; born 8 May 1963) is a French independent film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is noted for his inventive visual style and distinctive manipulation of mise en scène. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as one of the writers of the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His other films include the surrealistic science fantasy comedy The Science of Sleep (2006), the comedy Be Kind Rewind (2008), the superhero action comedy The Green Hornet (2011), the drama The We and the I (2012), and the romantic science fantasy tragedy Mood Indigo (2013). He is well known for his music video collaborations with Radiohead, Björk, Beck, The Chemical Brothers and The White Stripes. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Nov. 2020. <>.

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