Slapstick, swearing and political messages.
HAVE you ever noticed how many phone numbers in movies begin with 555?
There are actually so many examples of the 555- phone number in movies that somebody gathered all of them together in one video montage – a ‘‘ supercut’’ edit.
Supercuts are fast- paced video montages of dozens of short clips on a common theme.
It is a meticulous cutting and pasting together of cliched phrases and other tropes and idioms from film, TV and music videos. If it’s in a few movies, it’s ripe for a remix.
One supercut video compiles each time somebody says ‘‘ dude’’ in The Big Lebowski. Another features every profanity uttered in The Sopranos.
These short remixed films have titles, too; Endless Caruso One- Liners supercuts all the one- line punchlines from CSI: Miami’s David Caruso, while Famous Last Words gathers all of the last lines of movie characters before they perish.
Video remixing isn’t new; Mattias Muller’s Home Stories ( 1990) stitched together actresses in near- identical states of distress and in 1995, Christian Marclay’s Telephones edited together famous actors answering ringing telephones.
But it was the rise of Youtube that kick- started the current craze. With plenty of material to work with, as well as easy- to- use video editing software such as imovie and Youtube Remixer, anyone can do it.
But supercuts aren’t all slapstick and swearing; politicians and mainstream media, like the evening news, are ripe for editing as well.
Video remixing group Wreck & Salvage took a speech by Sarah Palin about the Arizona shootings and removed everything but the sound of her breathing between words.
The result, Sarah’s Breath, is a creepy but brilliant example of the supercut as political speech.
Another clever political supercut was created by artist Diran Lyons, which stitches together more than 600 edits in six minutes of President Obama saying ‘‘ spending’’.
George W. Bush’s supercut features the ex- president uttering ‘‘ terror’’, ‘‘ Iraq’’ and ‘‘ weapons’’.
Just as it was used to point out film cliches, a political supercut sends a message about a public figure’s focus of speech, in a very short period of time.