A Supercut Sampler
LET'S ENHANCE (2009)
There has been a murder most foul. Wait — here's closed-circuit footage of the crime scene just before it happened. Pause it right there. That's it. What's that in the mirror? Rotate the footage 75 degrees. Enhance! Enhance! There she is, perp or victim, caught right there on film in what seems like every crime drama ever on television. Has anyone ever said "Enhance!" in real life? It's doubtful. Have over a million people seen "Let's Enhance"? You bet.
INFOMERCIAL HELL (2009)
EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE
Some dudes took the inane problems experienced in the realm of infomercials and compiled them into a five-minute supercut of horrors including — but not limited to — hard-to-chop vegetables, stuck and/or ill-fitting jar lids, improperly heated pasta, high grocery bills, love handles, the boredom and pain of exercise, rotten tomatoes, cockroach infestation, dust mites, gum disease, incontinent dogs, dull razor blades, and ugliness.
THE CLOCK (2010)
Not only is The Clock the most ambitious of supercuts, it's the one most widely embraced as high art. This compilation of time-related scenes, often shown in galleries — including a stint at the MFA — is culled from hundreds of films and lasts 24 hours.
NIC CAGE LOSING HIS SHIT (2010)
"Cage Does Cage," a recent supercut consisting of footage of Nic Cage not saying anything in movies for the duration of composer John Cage's seminal, all-silent work 4'33", breaks one of Rich Juzwiak's cardinal rules: specificity. Nothing about quiet time screams "Nic Cage in a movie." As a point of contrast, take "Nic Cage Losing His Shit," a masterful compilation of Nic Cage doing what he does best. Is yodeling "fuck" for many seconds in a seedy bar specific to cinema, or specific to Nic Cage? Either way.
The strains of Lionel Richie's classic slow jam "Hello" play over a series of movie clips during which characters utter a lyric in the chorus. The aggregate result isn't just disorienting — it's evidence of formal evolution in the supercut genre. "Hello" doesn't just break all the supercut rules, it sets them on fire.
Eugenia Williamson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.