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The Big Short, like Spotlight, is the one of those movies ripped from the headlines—of years and years ago; but this time the subject is not pedophile priests, but the downfall of the American economy. Written by Charles Randolph and the director Adam McKay, from a book by Michael Lewis, it’s also a very satisfying bit of agitprop theater with Brechtian distancing devices thrown in for good major.
It basically tells the story of four different groups of people who all realized, more or less at the same time, and years ahead of schedule, that the housing mortgage bubble was going to burst in 2007 and destroy the world’s economy.
This leads to the movie’s major irony: the people who figured this out then proceed to invest heavily against the U.S. economy, making tons of money when their Cassandra like prediction of doom came true.
So basically, we in the audience, along with the characters in the movie, find ourselves and themselves actually hoping that the U.S. financial system tanks like the Titanic. Continue reading →