6 movies

Arrival

November 11, 2016

Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.

Project Nim

July 8, 2011

From the team behind Man on Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Following Nim's extraordinary journey through human society, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unflinching and unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human. What we learn about his true nature - and indeed our own - is comic, revealing and profoundly unsettling.

An in-depth look at the work and views of the man described as 'one of the greatest minds in human history'. He first emerged through his pioneering work in linguistics in the 1950s but later became a political activist and a critic of US foreign policy in Vietnam, its neo-liberal capitalism, and mainstream media. Consisting primarily of interviews with Chomsky and other writers, academics, philosophers, social commentators and broadcasters, this film explores the breadth, originality and importance of his work; and the alternative narratives he has advanced at some of the most critical periods in recent history.

The Grammar of Happiness

January 25, 2012

The Grammar Of Happiness follows the story of Daniel Everett among the extraordinary 'nonconvertible' Amazonian Pirah tribe, a group of indigenous hunter- gatherers whose culture and outlook on life has taken the world of linguistics by storm. As a young ambitious missionary three decades ago, Dan, a red-bearded towering American, decamped to the Amazon rain forest to save indigenous souls. His assignment was to translate the book of Mark into the tongue of the Pirah, a people whose puzzling speech seemed unrelated to any other on Earth. What he learned during his time with the Pirah led him to question the very foundations of his own deep beliefs. As a 'born again' atheist, Dan divorced his devout Christian wife and became estranged from his children. Having lost faith and family, his new life is dominated by the desire to leave behind his legacy. Everett's most controversial claim is that the Pirah language lacks 'recursion' - the ability to build an infinite number of sentences.

Marc Okrand on Klingon

January 1, 2002

Marc Okrand discusses his involvement with the Star Trek franchise and his work on inventing the Klingon and Vulcan languages.

Involuntary Conversion

January 1, 1991

This apocalyptic linguistic comedy meditates on the relationship between language, meaning and social decay and is scripted from "double-speak" language found in a variety of media sources. Drawing its title from the Pentagon's term for crash, Involuntary Conversion evokes the hollowness and free-floating anxiety that characterizes late 20th century culture. In a voice that could belong to a hypnotist or a government spokesman, a disembodied speaker recounts a string of events whose common thread is a sense of impending disaster. The mood is suspended somewhere between nightmare and deadpan and is propelled by a narrative as enigmatic as the language it exposes. The iconic shape of a fighter jet floating in a perfect sky has the creepy feel of a video game and the texture of television is used to make the images feel domestically ingrained.