| Ron Howard's Call to Action | The Big Short
Classic Film and Television Home Page (with many articles on directors)
Adam McKay is a Hollywood film writer and director.
Ron Howard's Call to Action
Ron Howard's Call to Action (2008) is a campaign film, written by Adam McKay and dirtied by Jake Szymanski.
It is short film, with actor-director Ron Howard urging people to vote for Obama.
The Big Short
The Big Short (2015) is about the financial crisis of 2007.
An Unusual Mystery
The Big Short has strong links to the genre of mystery films. It is like a variation on the mystery paradigm:
- In a traditional mystery, the detectives try to solve a mystery about a crime, like a murder or theft.
In The Big Short, the characters try to get at the truth about the economy and subprime loans.
- Traditional mysteries have detectives as heroes. The Big Short has financial analysts in the role
of "detectives". They interview people, study computer records, and follow paper trails, just like detectives in mysteries.
In the early days of silent film, story films often incorporated economics and financial processes.
Corner in Wheat (D. W. Griffith, 1909) shows a commodity trader who corners the wheat market, and the harm
this causes regular people. Isn't Life Wonderful (D. W. Griffith, 1924) shows hyper-inflation in Germany.
Throughout his career the films of Allan Dwan showed complex financial processes -
something documented in detail in the linked article on Dwan. Sometimes these were the central core of the film:
The Inside Story (Allan Dwan, 1948) teaches a lesson about keeping money in circulation.
Other silent directors examined the roles of wages, labor and industry in people's lives.
All of these films explain their financial processes clearly. They offer accounts that most people can understand.
These films mix education about economics, with drama and comedy.
The Big Short revives this 100-year-old tradition. It too is built around economics.
It offers the audience explicit education in the economy, Wall Street and financial assets like Credit Default Swaps.
The Big Short also reflects modern interests:
- Books and films dealing with science are popular today. The Big Short centers around a science: economics.
- Current mysteries often have financial backgrounds. Punked, an episode of the TV detective series Castle,
investigates the murder of a young Wall Street trader after he steers a hedge fund into bankruptcy.
Please see my:
Eccentric Story Telling
The Big Short has many interludes, in which non-standard techniques of story telling are employed.
One sees unusual techniques in other contemporary works. The TV series Limitless often features them.