‘Men Shouting’ work in progress

Work-in-progress exports of individual sequences from the ‘Men Shouting’ deformative videoessay project are regularly posted in this Vimeo album.

Named in a programmatic essay by Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann (1999), deformative criticism ‘is a playful method that aims to deliberately transform the texts it engages’ (Buurma & Gold 2018: 146). The approach has lent itself to experimental activities in critical digital humanities and videographic work in film and television studies. Deformative approaches constitute interpretation as remix in order, as Jason Mittell puts it (2019: 231), to ‘make the original work strange’ and to reveal features previously inaccessible or obscured.  The ‘Men Shouting’ project concerns American films that deal with the 2008 financial crisis, including Too Big to Fail (2011), Margin Call (2011), 99 Homes (2014) and The Big Short (2015). Elements of each of these films are being combined according to a set of parametric procedures in order to reveal the means of the films’ shared or divergent historical interpretations. The case study forms part of a broader project, ‘Deformative Studies in the History Film’.