Money On the Mind: Making Movies About the Economy

By  · Published on October 24th, 2017

How on the nose should you go?

When thinking of successful “message” movies, the one I jump to fastest is The Big Short. That’s not only because I read the book in a nerdy finance-related reading group when I was in college, but because there’s some really effective and disarming filmmaking that helps the bitter and boring pill of the mortgage crisis’ causes go down.

In fact, movies about issues usually stick to the sexy ones. Issues that are dangerous or deadly, something you can make a grand speech about in court. Labyrinthine day trader lingo and corrupt circles of ratings agencies and lenders aren’t really in those categories. So how does one make a film about economic issues?

Kevin B. Lee’s essay goes over ten discrete techniques films have used in order to broach such a serious subject – some silly, some direct. The fascinating thing is the variety, which most films reserve for broad human topics like love. That greed and its social manifestation gets the same treatment is both depressing and satisfying.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).