Green Hornet director Michel Gondry is currently working, day by day, brick by brick, on assembling a documentary about Noam Chomsky. Judging from the director’s discussions of the film, the emphasis appears to be on Chomsky as a linguist and cognitive scientist rather than as a political campaigner and theorist. The project first came to my attention in a Time Out interview late last year:
Another project I’m working on is a series of interviews with Noam Chomsky which will be played over an animated backdrop.
Now, in a new interview with Collider, Gondry makes it sound like it’s more than the backdrops that will be animated, and that some of the film will be full-toon, set to audio recordings of Chomsky:
I’ve been interviewing him many times and I took all the sound, because I barely shot him… I shot him a few occasions but mostly it’s sound. I’m doing it in animation so I have my animation camera, it’s a Bolex 16mm. And I’m doing all the drawings. It’s something I do every night when I go home. It’s very exciting to be very complex because we talk about linguistics and it’s… captivating because he has this very personal and convincing views on how language was created as a genetic mutation more than a slow, evolutionary process. And I’m illustrating that.
It’s the film that the phrase “meeting of minds” was created for.
I’m quite enthused by Gondry’s own personal investment in the project, the slow, determined process of animation that he’s working on, as he says, nightly. It sounds like he’s pouring an awful lot of passion into this film.
I’ll be surprised if we end with something as simple as an animated illustration to Chomsky interviews. I’d imagine that the meshing of images and ideas is likely to be much more complex.
Asked when we can expect the film, Gondry goes all Mayan on us:
I hope to be done before… I die. Or before he dies. Or before the world dies. So… I hope within two years. Maximum.