One video, featuring every time Woody Allen stammers in one of his films, is an astonishing 45 minutes long, making it half as long as a typical Woody Allen feature.
hanks to a fortuitous combination of affordable, easy-to-use video editing software, digital media, and obsessive fanboys and girls, a wonderful new cinematic sub-genre is emerging: the supercut. Supercuts are essentially video compilations in which certain key moments in films,TV shows, or other videos, are spliced together in rapid succession. A typical example is this video, that splices together characters from various movies saying “I can explain.”
It would be easy to dismiss these supercuts as silly diversions, and for the most part they are. At their best, however, they illustrate Hollywood’s over-reliance on certain tropes and clichés. This supercut by Harry Hanrahan—one of the auteurs of the genre—features clips of people saying “It’s showtime!” It runs for nearly four minutes, and features clips from 96 films.
The secret to the success of the supercut is repetition. It’s part of what makes these videos so funny, watching the same phrase said over and over and over—or watching the same person walk out of a room over and over and over.
But sometimes sitting through a supercut can be a test of endurance. This video, featuring every time Woody Allen stammers in one of his films, is an astonishing 45 minutes long, making it half as long as a typical Woody Allen feature.
Not surprisingly, some material is more popular among supercutters than others. Game of Thrones has inspired several, including this one, which contains every time a character on the show swears, and two videos that feature all the death scenes from the show, one for season 1 and one for season 2.
The best supercuts are the ones that call directors or writers out on their penchant for recycling. This video, titled “Sorkinisms,” shows characters from various films and TV shows written by Aaron Sorkin using the exact same pithy, clever, typical Aaron Sorkin lines. It’s the kind of thing only an obsessive fan would notice—we’re guessing even Aaaron Sorkin himself would be surprised to learn how often he repeats himself—but it’s quite eye opening to watch.
Many supercuts, however, don’t say anything about anything. They’re just funny. It’s a trend that’s probably only going to grow, and we couldn’t be happier. Here are a few of our other favorite examples. Enjoy.