Michel Gondry's Animated Noam Chomsky Doc + 'The We & The I'
As we wait for The Green Hornet to hit screens in January, it seems director Michel Gondry is already looking to the future. Time Out London (via The Playlist) recently spoke with the filmmaker who elaborated on the previously reported project The We & The I and revealed a new project in the form of an animated documentary about American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political activist, Noam Chomsky. The doc will feature a series of interviews with Chomsky but the audio will be placed over an animated backdrop similar to "Shorties Watchin' Shorties" or TV Funhouse's "Fun with Real Audio".
Gondry jests about the challenge, which may in fact be a benefit, of not being a master of the English language himself and how it's affecting his work on the film. Gondry says, "I hear my questions back on the tapes and have no idea how he can make any sense of them. He doesn’t actually mind it. I think he prefers someone who can barely speak than someone who’s coming at him with lots of philosophical baggage.” Gondry can talk a mile a minute though given the right subject matter, and having these two creative minds in one setting with an animated backdrop bringing it to life sounds pretty damn cool.
Chomsky is considered one of fathers of modern linguistics with work spanning into concepts that my years in college never even touched upon. His studies and teachings range from the method and pace at which children learn languages to the use of linguistics in cognitive psychology. Aside from his work with language, he also uses his words to be a strong advocate for anarchism. Despite his desire for less institutionalism, he has been praised by various universities and scholars for his contributions to linguistics and more. Animating the thoughts and concepts Chomsky will likely speak on in the interviews has limitless possibilities with Gondry involved.
As for The We & The I, Gondry has previously said, "I am working on a new drama which we’re going to shoot next summer, which follows 35 kids going to school on a bus. It's about how the group affects the individual. I’d written 25 versions of the screenplay and then we found this after-school activity center in the South Bronx and did a workshop there. Basically we talked to the kids and used their stories." This goes hand-in-hand with what Gondry revealed back in March when he said, " It's about the group effect, how people in groups transform when the group is dislocated, because everyone jumps out of the bus at different times, there is a smaller group and how the relationships evolve."
If there's one thing that's intriguing about Michel Gondry getting involved with any project, it's his childlike wonder and sensibilities that allow him to approach any given material with a fresh mind. Gondry simplified some of the most iconic films in history with Be Kind Rewind's infamous "sweded" versions of films, uses great visual tricks and production design to craft a surreal yet strangely realistic world with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and continues to be at the forefront of creativity in cinema.
With a free mind like Michel Gondry, I'm always looking forward to his next project. The man is a cinematic tour de force full of off-the-wall ideas, amazing visual tricks and techniques and most importantly, a love for the art of film. I'm extremely excited to see what he brings to The Green Hornet after seeing "Kato-vision" come to life in the most recent trailer for the January release and hearing some early Twitter buzz after a screening took place yesterday. As for Gondry's interesting future in film, we'll continue to keep you posted.