Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

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.

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