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The Playlist

Review: Michel Gondry’s Noam Chomsky Documentary ‘Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 20, 2013 5:16 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Twice in 2010, director Michel Gondry met with Noam Chomsky for a series of conversations about the philosopher, linguist, and author’s childhood in Philadelphia and his theory of generative grammar. The film that resulted, “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?,” gives no reason beyond curiosity for this collaboration, but it is all we need — how else should any worthy project be assembled? “If you’re willing to be puzzled, you’re able to learn,” Chomsky says at one point. To his credit (and without affectation), Gondry doesn’t cloak the fact that he is often perplexed by his subject. Because of his confusion though, we are able to learn quite a lot.

Michel Gondry Talks Making Sense Of Noam Chomsky In New Animated Doc, Cutting ‘Mood Indigo’ & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 20, 2013 10:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?, Michel Gondry
The prospect of holding ones weight conversationally with one of the world's most prominent thinkers is daunting enough, but in sitting down with cognitive scientist and activist Noam Chomsky for the animated documentary “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?,” director Michel Gondry chooses a personal path through the intellectual distance. Illustrating Chomsky’s ideas on linguistics and his childhood memories via Gondry’s hand-drawn 16mm animation, the film is at once dense and incredibly playful, packed with the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director’s trademark visuals and Chomsky’s logical clarity whether explaining the emergence of language or simply what makes him happy. We sat down recently with Gondry to discuss the film, his decision to cut down his latest effort “Mood Indigo,” and why Roman Polanski shoots Paris better than any French director—but first Gondry described how his path crossed that of Chomsky in the first place.

10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 13, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
10 Music Video Directors Turned Feature Filmmakers
Many years ago, The Playlist started off as a blog dedicated to soundtracks, scores, music movies and the rest of the middle part of the Venn diagram where the worlds of music and film collided. Though we’ve evolved since then, that overlap is still something close to our hearts. One way those worlds are inextricably interlinked is in the number of directors who come from a music video background to work in features, and with most of us being that precise age that we can still remember the first heyday of the music video, it never ceases to surprise us how many of the promos we remember best were shot by filmmakers we now associate primarily with features. Arguably the form is experiencing something of a renaissance in relevance these days, not just via YouTube, but also with high-profile bands like Arcade Fire embracing and expanding their music videos’ artistic potential, even while the Robin Thickes of the world grab some extra headlines with risque or provocative content.

Watch: New Trailer For Michel Gondry's Animated Noam Chomsky Documentary 'Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2013 3:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So what happens when you pair fantastical director Michel Gondry with noted linguist Noam Chomsky? Well, it's pretty much as you might expect; a hybrid of their personalities on film, with the filmmaker's whimsy paired with Chomsky's musings in a movie that could only be called, "Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?"

Watch: New Ads Directed By Michel Gondry, Roman Coppola, Jordan Vogt-Roberts & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 18, 2013 10:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The commercial world provides all kind of opportunities for filmmakers either looking to make their name before leaping to features or established directors trying to keep their skills sharp between gigs, while taking home some extra pocket money. And so today, we bring you a handful of new ads from some filmmakers of note, so let's dive in...

Michel Gondry Worked With A New Editor On The Shorter International Cut Of 'Mood Indigo'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 21, 2013 5:49 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While even the mere suggestion that a film will be re-edited, cut or tweaked for theaters sends up a reactive, pearl-clutching shock from cinephiles, it's not uncommon. David Lowery snipped 10 minutes of "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" from his Sundance cut before it opened in theaters last week, and even the forthcoming "Una Noche" has gone through some slight revisions before its impending arrival this weekend. Granted, those are not quite as potentially altering as the rumored changes requested of Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer," nor the 36 minutes of footage removed from "Mood Indigo." But it's a good reminder that sometimes, even directors know their films need a second look.

International Version Of Michel Gondry's 'Mood Indigo' Is 36 Minutes Shorter Than The Original Cut

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 8:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
"You ain't been blue, till you've had that mood indigo," goes the classic jazz standard "Mood Indigo," and fans of Michel Gondry will indeed be feeling that way upon this morning's news. The director's latest is still without a U.S. distributor, while it continues to open in various international territories, and has played a couple of festivals too (Karlovy Vary and New Zealand). However, it appears those folks outside of France, are getting a very different movie than the one Gondry released in his home country this spring.

Michel Gondry Says He Had Little Artistic Freedom On 'The Green Hornet,' Provides Update On 'Ubik'

  • By Ben Brock
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  • July 16, 2013 9:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The Green Hornet Michel Gondry Seth Rogen Jay Chou
One of cinema's premiere dreamers, Michel Gondry is also a fascinating conversationalist, and at the recent Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (which screened his latest "Mood Indigo"), he participated in a master class, exposing the labyrinthine twists of his brain to a receptive audience. And over the course of the next 50 minutes, he talked about almost every subject under the sun, including the already much discussed troubled production on "The Green Hornet" (an experience star Seth Rogen recently called "a fucking nightmare").

Karlovy Vary Review: Michel Gondry's 'Mood Indigo'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 6, 2013 8:59 AM
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  • 4 Comments
So if we were to CHROME CARROTS attempt to replicate the PERSPEX LIMO omnipresent inventiveness of TINY MOUSE IN A TINY HOUSE Michel Gondry’s latest film throughout the PIANO THAT MAKES COCKTAILS course of this review, it would SUNLIGHT IS STRING get pretty old, pretty damn RUBIK’S CUBE ORGANISER quick. So we’ll stop while we still have you, which is what we deeply wish Gondry had done. But in “Mood Indigo,” which opened the Karlovy Vary Film Festival last week, the French filmmaker's gonzo homemade aesthetic is off the leash entirely, and he shows no mercy in how much gimcrackery he thinks we can handle.

"It Was A Fucking Nightmare": Seth Rogen Speaks Candidly About The Failure Of 'The Green Hornet'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 10, 2013 12:52 PM
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  • 21 Comments
The Green Hornet Seth Rogen Michel Gondry Jay Chou
Time heals all wounds. Or at least it adds some perspective and allows talent to be divorced from the obligations of promotion, to be honest about what they've made. And so, reflections on the franchise that wasn't, "The Green Hornet," continue to roll. You might recall the producer Neal Moritz said in 2012 that the decision and cost of choosing to shoot the movie in Los Angeles coupled with the 3D conversion, killed any shot at a sequel. Meanwhile, Michel Gondry flat out admitted that "fans didn't like my vision of the superhero." But now, it's Seth Rogen's turn to weigh in on his first major blockbuster movie, and he's forthright and candid about what went wrong.

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