Mar 18, 2016
If you will only sit still for one lesson in how Western economies work – or, don’t – I recommend you watch Boom Bust Boom by filmmakers Bill Jones and Ben Timlett. The documentary is a masterful explanation of the cycles caused by greed and mass psychosis, accomplished through a combination of historical recaps and expert witnesses, original animation, art and even “South Park” clips, plus much humor and song.
BILL JONES podcast excerpt: "Ben and I just watched 'The Big Short' where they go, 'You're betting against the housing market? The housing market NEVER goes down! And I kept shouting at the screen, 'YEAH? 1929!!!"
Oh, and actor John Cusack. The film’s third director and narrator’s not bad either: it’s Bill Jones’s dad, Terry Jones, whom you might recognize as a co-founder of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and an accomplished filmmaker in his own right. He did, after all, write and direct Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Life of Brian, and The Meaning of Life. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
BEN TIMLETT podcast excerpt: "Do you want to know how Bill and I met? Bill's got an older sister; I've got an older brother. And we lived in the same area of South London. One day, Bill's Dad, Terry Jones, was dropping off Bill's sister near my house..."
BILL JONES podcast excerpt: "... And my dad sees this little boy wandering around. He goes, 'Hello, little boy! I've got a little boy at home about your age. Do you want to come home and play with him?' And the last thing Ben's Mum sees is this strange man waving goodbye..."
BEN TIMLETT podcast excerpt: "...I got in, and Terry said to my Mum, 'I'll bring him home at the end of school.' My Mum was like, 'I believe I recognize him (from 'Monty Python'), but I can't believe that just happened!"
BILL JONES podcast excerpt: "We've been friends ever since."
As for Bill Jones and Ben Timlett, this is their third feature together. Their last project was A Liar’s Autobiography, starring the five surviving Pythons. Before that, they collaborated on Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Robin Williams.
• 5:45 Bill Jones talks about comparisons between his film, Boom Bust Boom, and The Big Short;
• 13:45 Ben Timlett discusses the challenges in editing such a complicated subject, let alone breaking down the immense crapload of jargon inherent in any financial discussion ;
• 20:00 The filmmakers tell the true story of how the met as little boys (hint: it involves "Monty Python's Flying Circus" original member Terry Jones and a virtual kidnapping).