Breaking the Fourth Wall with Mrs. Bergman (Business and Economics teacher)

by the Editors

How many movies do you watch on a monthly basis?

Maybe two on average…I do like to go to the movies…I watch movies at home on weekends. So in some months, especially during the winter, [when] I don’t tend to go out as much, [sometimes I’m] sitting home on a saturday night and streaming something. So maybe two to three if I include streaming.


Can you name any recently released movies you particularly liked and tell us why you enjoyed them?

I think one of my favorites was Carol. I really enjoyed that and I went to see it with my daughter; she was home over winter break. She’s in college and she put that on her list. I just thought that it was really lovely, [and] beautifully shot…[the] character development…acting…there’s just nothing I could say that was bad about it…There was something about Carol that kind of stood out…Cate Blanchett is just supreme…So I think that was my favorite of the year.


As an economics teacher, how accurately do you think The Big Short reflects the actual events and mood of the Great Recession?

I think it did [represent them accurately]. I don’t know that the movie reflected so much the mood of mainstream–the people whose houses were being foreclosed on. It did a good job of showing that there were some smart people on Wall Street who had a sense that things were not quite right but I also think that it did a good job of showing how other people were reluctant to listen to them; they were definitely a minority….‘Things are great right now…Why leave a party early?…Everybody’s doing well’. They should’ve listened to [them] a little more.


What effects on the general public did you observe during that period? Do you remember when you began to sense we were in trouble as an economy?

[The failure of] Bear Stearns came in the spring, and I’m trying to remember correctly. Bear Stearns was bailed out. Lehman Brothers came in the fall; they weren’t bailed out. I think the summer before that is when Stearns started to sort of come out. So [in] the summer of 2007, we started to read news [about] a lot of foreclosures and there was some negative news about the economy. I didn’t in 2007 predict that things would be as bad as they ended up being and even with Bear Stearns in the spring of 2008…No, I couldn’t have predicted the recession would be as bad as it was and the ripple effects would be as great as they were.

On a personal level, my husband worked in the real estate development business and his business was greatly affected by the recession. So once it happened, I saw first hand the impact that it had on the housing industry.


Did you personally feel a sense of anger or disbelief on par with that displayed in the film?

Yeah. I think I felt a little bit of anger. I felt like there was just such a total lack of regulation. Once I started to piece everything together, I was angry that there wasn’t regulation to curb some of these extreme factors and I thought, “who fell asleep at the wheel?” On so many level, things could have been prevented if there was a little bit less greed…There was just a lot of reckless behavior happening there.


Did you have a favorite quote?

I don’t remember the quote but one of my favorite parts was when the famous chef talked about the seafood that was no longer good. It had been around for too long, but he kind of put it in the stew [anyways]… I really liked that; [laugh] I thought that was just so very apropros. Let’s take some of these bad mortgages and mix them in with the good ones. Nobody will know. It will still come out okay.


Have you been following the Oscars? Who do you think will win in the Best Picture/Best Actor/Actress? Who do you think should win?

A little bit. I know some of the nominations. I don’t know that The Big Short should win Best Picture. I liked Spotlight; I know [it’s] is a favorite, [so] I would say maybe Spotlight. I would’ve loved to see Carol; I thought that was a beautiful movie, [so] I was kind of disappointed [that it wasn’t nominated]. I also saw the Danish Girl, which I liked very much…[although] there were some parts that were a little slow… Eddie Redmayne is phenomenal. He’s nominated for Best Actor, [and] he won last year….I think he should win;…he’s just so superb. 


Perfect snow day movie?

I think Forrest Gump. It’s one of my favorite movies and it’s so fun that I can sit  home and watch it again and again.


Perfect Valentines day movie?

I really love When Harry Met Sally, [with] Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. It’s a romantic comedy; It’s just really funny. I’ve seen it several times. It’s very feel-good, and it’s just very nice to see a movie where you walk out and you’re still talking about it.


What’s your favorite snack during movies?

Popcorn…no butter!


Where can we usually find you at the movies?

Montgomery Cinemas is the one I usually go to because I really like the movies that they show. So I think all of the movies that I mentioned… I saw all of them [there]. It’s close to where I live too. And sometimes the Garden [Theater].


Who should we expect to find you with?

Sometimes with my husband, but he doesn’t love movies as much as I do, so I sometimes go myself and I have no qualms about [that]… I’ve inherited that…My father loved movies. He would go to the movies himself; my brother goes to the movies himself…Some people have this concern. I have no concern. [laugh] I’m quite happy going by myself…and with my kids, if they’re around. When my kids were babies, my parents lived in Florida, and sometimes I would go with my kids (my husband had to work) and one of my favorite things about going to Florida was that I had a babysitter. My parents would watch my kids, and three out of the five nights I was there, I would just go to the movies myself. I loved it! I would come back and my friends would say “what did you do?” “I saw these really good movies!”[laugh] I’m not such a critic, as you can tell…[but] I just really enjoyed that.

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