The Drama of the Great Financial Crisis: Adaptation and Representation of Economic Collapse in Adam McKay’s 'The Big Short' (2015)

Alejandro Pedregal Villodres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Cinema offers a wide communicative and artistic potential for channeling complex data and information into the public domain. For this reason, the dominant culture industries often promote a type of passive spectatorship responding to the interests of the hegemonic social sectors. Nonetheless, different dramaturgical techniques can enrich the possibilities of narrative cinema too, affecting the knowledge of the public about specific topics and empowering its critical abilities towards them. This could be the case of the film 'The Big Short' (2015), directed by Adam McKay, an adaptation of the non-fiction book by Michael Lewis about the great financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, which offers a great challenge to some of the major prejudices towards film adaptations. By examining the inventive formal proposal and genuine insights of this film in relation to its original literary source and other films on the financial crisis—namely, Charles Ferguson’s documentary 'Inside Job' (2010) and J. C. Chandor’s drama 'Margin Call' (2011)—, 'The Big Short' can serve to underline the capacity of cinema to not simply represent or illustrate its written source, but to become an autonomous cultural intervention that complements and even contributes to its literary point of departure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptation and Convergence of Media
Subtitle of host publication'High' Culture Intermediality Versus Popular Culture Intermediality
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherAalto ARTS Books
Chapter6
Pages150-167
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-8312-4
ISBN (Print)978-952-60-8311-7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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