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Terry Jones is best remembered for his antics as a member of the British comedy troupe, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and so right away we know we have an expert on American economics at the helm. Okay, that’s sarcasm, but that’s also the name of the game, sort of. If you watched last year’s The Big Short, the Oscar-nominated big-named drama from Adam McKay and thought, “Gee, I really like the fourth wall breaks in this story and wish there were more”, then behold, Boom Bust Boom, a puppet-driven yet highly insightful look at not just what happened leading up the the 2008 financial bust but the patterns we has humans have in ignoring it and repeating it.
Spawned from a meeting between Jones and economist Theo Kocken, Boom Bust Boom doesn’t take a hateful look at how things work (and failed) but rather a decidedly fresh approach, and at only an hour and fourteen minutes long, might feel like just the right kind of bite-sized appeal to those trying to understand the why’s and how’s of the cyclical nature of these problems. The trailer, and Jones, make a point to suggest that the problem lies in the evolution of how we think, how each generation is aggressively sure that they are doing things better than the previous.
Split into two parts, the first half will center on the history and patterns of these calamities, from tulip hysteria and train magnates to the stock markets crash of 1929. This will feature an impressive list of interviews with respected economists and writers with extensive insight into these historical follies. Next, Jones will try to answer why it is that scholars and those in the know aren’t able to predict and prevent it from happening every single time, again with a line-up of interview that includes, rather oddly to be sure, actor/activist John Cusack, who really seems out of place, but may have something to say.
The irreverent styling of Boom Bust Boom has its ups and down in the clip, making the difficult subject maybe a little easier to approach, but stripping away much of the legitimacy. But again, the absurdity of the real story, at least looking back on all of it, might warrant that comedy and this short documentary may have some bite.
Bill Jones, Terry Jones
Terry Jones, Theo Kocken
Dirk Bezemer, Zvi Bodie, Willem Buiter, John Cusack