Research Statement

This first inklings of this video essay came in the form of a one-off blog post I wrote seven years ago (Tohline 2013) in response to Miklos Kiss’s work on the “narrative” supercut (Kiss 2013). My thoughts then comprised little more than a list; an attempt to add a few works to the prehistory of the supercut that I felt Kiss and other supercut researchers or popularizers, like Tom McCormack (2011) and Andy Baio (2008), had left out. As time went by and the aesthetic of assembling appropriated footage into a matching list of clips spread far beyond fan montages on YouTube, I felt it was time to return to the history of the supercut, try to fill in the gaps of the existing work on it, and account for the social meaning behind its proliferation. And that’s how this video essay began: with a hunch that a fad had somehow become ideological. As I performed over a year of image-research and encountered quite a few more cultural tributaries of the supercut in places I had not expected, it became clear that the supercut was never just a subset of remix, compilation, or fan culture, but was instead a material expression of a new historical mode of knowledge and power: the database episteme. The supercut was not invented within the avant-garde, later making its way into more populist forms of entertainment; rather, the roots of the form appeared simultaneously in many places at once. This phenomenon of multiple-emergence is most evident in the 1920s, where montages that first resemble what would later be called supercuts pop up in newsreels, sight gags in silent comedies, city symphonies, agit-prop documentary, German cross-section montages, mainstream narratives, and more (see, for example, The Cruise of the Jasper B. (1926), Rien que les heures (1926), Turksib (1929), Melody of the World (1929), or The Crowd (1928)). Despite the fact that the supercut embodies database-thinking, or at least a kind of simulation of a computer search operation, up to this point our histories of the supercut have been primarily archival, focusing on a few favored works and creators while not noticing the bulk of the tradition. This project thus primarily represents an attempt to bring a more rounded database-approach to the histories of the supercut, a database-form.

Structurally, this essay breaks up into three parts. Part one analyses the aesthetics of the supercut in terms of what kind of attention the form naturally emphasizes or intensifies. Drawing on Tim Smith’s Attentional Theory of Cinematic Continuity (Smith 2012) and Eli Horwatt’s work on “Instrumental Appropriation” in photocollage (Horwatt 2013), I argue that there is no semiotic or structuralist reason why viewers should prefer narrative patterning to database patterning of images. In fact, just as the conventions of classical continuity editing direct spectatorial attention toward elements of the unfolding narrative and away from extraneous details, so also the strong patterning in supercuts focuses viewer attention toward that which repeats, stoking uncritical desire for that repetition, regardless of the content of the images. While critical analysis is certainly possible within the form, the supercut, broadly speaking, naturally gravitates toward desire instead of analysis.

Armed with this conclusion, part two sets out to discover the various roots of the supercut with this desire-centered-ness, and other pragmatics, as a guide. Deploying over a hundred video clips, I show how existing histories of the supercut, which tend to center on avant-garde filmmaking or fan cultures, both fail to mention a great deal of relevant works and, in some cases, greatly misunderstand the nature of the form. To correct these errors, I produce an original genealogy of the various tributaries of the moving image that feed into the modern supercut, including: the cinephilic thread, which stretches from Cinema Paradiso (1988) and That’s Entertainment (1974) back to German and American film history montages of the 1920s; the cross-section thread, which begins with Walter Ruttmann’s querschnitt montages of the 1920s and extends through the avant-garde work of later found footage filmmakers; the archival-analysis thread, with its roots in Shub and Eisenstein, that blossoms in the visual culture work of Berger, Loader & the Raffertys, and others; and the narrative thread, emerging in Vorkapich-style montages of the 1920s and 30s and continuing in later attempts to compress serial narrative events or express a character’s essayistic thoughts.

With these various cultural series of the supercut in place, part three theorizes the histories of the supercut as a tale of the emergence of the database episteme. Over the past century, we have come to think of nearly every aspect of our lives as composed of data. The supercut is part of this; indeed, every time we use a search engine, we commission a computer to make us something quite like a supercut. Thus, the supercut entails not simply a mode of editing, but a mode of thinking expressed by a mode of editing. Accordingly, in part three I argue for the supercut as an example of what happens when an episteme takes root ideologically well before the technologies corresponding to the world it envisions have been invented. Just as capitalism treated workers as machines as a prelude to workers being replaced by machines, so also supercutters simulate database thinking in apparent anticipation of a moment, perhaps in the near future, when neural networks will be able to search the entirety of digitized film history and create supercuts themselves, automatically. In its desire-centered aesthetics and its often-evidentiary uses, the supercut carries many of the promises and threats of the database episteme. But like any technology, the supercut’s threats need not outweigh its promises. In my conclusion, I imagine decoupling database-thinking from its service to capitalist systems of control and argue that now is the time to imagine what this liberation of the database episteme could look like, both in the supercut and across culture more broadly.

Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests to declare.


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Film and video material

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20th Century Women, 2016 [Blu-ray] Mike Mills.

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38 Seconds With Gustavo Almadovar, 2008. [Web video] AlmodovarGustavo.

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Babel, 2006. [Poster] Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

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Bamboozled, 2000. [Blu-ray] Spike Lee.

Barack Obama Singing Drink to That by Rihanna [OFFICIAL], 2012. [Web video] baracksdubs.

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Beginning, 1967. [Web video] Artavazd Peleshian.

Being There, 1979. [Blu-ray] Hal Ashby.

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, 1927. [Web video] Walter Ruttmann.

Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame, 1934. [Web video] Dave Fleischer.

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Bicycle Thieves, 1948. [DVD] Vittorio de Sica [screenshot only].

Bluebottles, 1928. [Web video] Ivor Montagu.

Bob Kick the Mischievous Kid, 1903. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

Bob’s Burgers supercut: All of Tina’s moans, 2012. [Web video] Bryan Menegus for Slacktory.

Bodysong, 2003. [DVD] Simon Pummell.

Bop-Scotch, 1952. [Web video] Jordan Belson.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Supercut, 2018. [Web video] The Royal Ocean Film Society.

Breathless, 1959. [Blu-ray] Jean-Luc Godard.

Brian Williams Raps Snoop Dogg, 2013. [Web video] John MacDonald for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Broadway Melody of 1938, 1937. [DVD] Roy Del Ruth, montage sequence by Slavko Vorkapich.

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Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, 1982. [DVD] Carl Reiner.

Dead of Night, 1945. [poster] Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Drearden, Robert Hamer.

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Die Nibelungen, Part I. Siegfried, 1924. [DVD] Fritz Lang.

Dinosaur Movies, 1993. [Web video] Donald F. Glut [screenshots only].

Directed by John Ford, 1971. [Web video] Peter Bogdanovich.

Donald Trump Counts To The Biggest Number Ever, 2018. [Web video] VICE News.

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Down the Aisle: A Wedding Supercut, 2014. [Web video] Max Tohline.

DP/30: Chuck Workman, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, 2014. [Web video] DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood (David Poland).

Duck Soup, 1933. [DVD] Leo McCarey.

Dunkirk, 2017. [Web video] Christopher Nolan [screenshot only].

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982. [Web video] Steven Spielberg [screenshot only].

Echopraxia, 2005. [Web video] Fu Pok Yan.

Egypte: Panorama des Rives du Nil [Lumière cat. no. 386], 1897. [Web video] Alexandre Promio.

Elégia, 1965. [Web video] Zoltán Huszárik.

Epileptic Seizure Comparison, 1976. [Web video] Paul Sharits.

Equal+Opposite, 2008. [Web video] Rahne Alexander.

‘SportsCentury’ Images of Our Century montage, 1999. [Web video] ESPN Sportscenter.

Ethnic Notions, 1987. [Web video] Marlon Riggs.

Every Covid-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same, 2020. [Web video] Microsoft Sam.

Every Single Michael Bay Explosion, 2011. [Web video] Jimmy Barr.

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Everywhere at Once, 1985. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

Eyeballing, 2005. [Web video] Rosalind Nashashibi.

Fahrenheit 11/9, 2018. [Web video] Michael Moore.

Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004. [DVD] Michael Moore. DOI:

Fails – Hard knock Life, 2016. [Web video] BAESTI LP.

Family Matters, Season 6, Episode 21 “What’s Up Doc?”, 1995. [Web video] Richard Correll.

Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema boek, 2015. [Web video] Eye Filmmuseum.

Fast Workers 2019 #2 – Amazing Skills Level God, 2019. [Web video] United Pictures.

Fast Workers 2019 #4 – Amazing Skills Level God, 2019. [Web video] United Pictures.

Fast Workers 2019 #9 – Amazing Skills Level Master, 2019. [Web video] United Pictures.

Fat and Lean Wrestling Match, 1900. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

Faust, 2019. [Web video] F. W. Murnau.

Field of Dreams, 1989. [DVD] Phil Alden Robinson.

Film Before Film, 1986. [VHS] Werner Nekes.

Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc., 1966. [Web video] Owen Land.

Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen, 2012. [Web video] György Pálfi.

Fingering and Footing, 2005. [DVD] Catherine Ross.

Flying Down to Rio, 1933. [DVD] Thornton Freeland.

Footlight Parade, 1933. [DVD] Lloyd Bacon.

Forbidden Games, 1952. [DVD] Rene Clement [screenshot only].

Forrest Gump, 1994. [DVD] Robert Zemeckis.

Frank Film, 1973. [Web video] Frank & Caroline Mouris.

Full Metal Jacket, 1987. [DVD] Stanley Kubrick.

Future Pres. Nixon on Face the Nation, 27 Oct. 1968. [Web video] CBS News.

Gabbeh, 1996. [DVD] Mohsen Makhmalbaf [screenshot only].

Gay Kiss Montage, 2006. [Web video] robe888 (Robert Eldredge).

George Wallace and California: The Beginning, 1968. [Web video] Jim Guillot.

George Wallace’s America and George Wallace’s Americans, 1968. [Web video] director unknown.

Get Down! – Supercut, 2014. [Web video] Dan Murrell for Screen Junkies.

GET OUT OF THERE!, 2010. [Web video] hh1edits (Harry Hanrahan).

Goals that science can’t explain, 2020. [Web video] SportsHD.

God Bless the USA, 2008. [Web video] Wreck & Salvage.

Grand Hotel, 1932. [poster] Edmund Goulding.

Gringo in Mañanaland, 1995. [Web video] DeeDee Halleck.

Grizzly Man, 2005. [DVD] Werner Herzog.

Groundhog Day, 1993. [DVD] Harold Ramis.

Groundless, ca. 2006. [Web video] Jen Proctor.

H2O, 1929. [DVD] Ralph Steiner.

Hamlet Mash Up, 2013. [Web video] Geoff Klock.

Hands, 1934. [DVD] Ralph Steiner & Willard Van Dyke.

Hara-kiri, 1962. [Blu-ray] Masaki Kobayashi [screenshot only].

Hearts and Minds, 1974. [DVD] Peter Davis, ed. Lynzee Klingman, Susan Martin.

Hide, 2006. [DVD] Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller.

His Musical Career, 1914. [Web video] Charlie Chaplin.

Hit By A Bus – The Supercut, 2013. [Web video] hh1edits (Harry Hanrahan).

Hollywood [various episodes], 1980. [Web video] Kevin Brownlow & David Gill [screenshots].

Hollywood Justice: Prison Rape For All, 2014. [Web video] HuffPostMovieMashups.

Hollywood, Ep. 5 ‘Hazards of the Game’, 1980. [Web video] Kevin Brownlow & David Gill.

Holy Robin Compilation!, 2009. [Web video] tedfufu (David Irons).

Home Stories, 1990–91. [Web video] Matthias Müller.

Hooper, 1978. [Web video] Hal Needham.

Horror Movie Cars Never Start When You Need Them Most, 2014. [Web video] HuffPostMovieMashups.

How Donald Trump spoke about WikiLeaks during 2016 presidential campaign, 2019. [Web video] Guardian News.

How Garfield Lost His Magic, 2018. [Web video] Quinton Reviews.

How To Curse On Network TV, 2013. [Web video] BuzzFeed Celeb.

I could tell you but I’d have to kill you – a Supercut, 2010. [Web video] Oscar Bartos.

I Love Lucy, Season 6, Episode 11 “Christmas Show”, 1956. [Web video] James V. Kern.

I Love to Singa, 1936. [Web video] Tex Avery.

I, Tonya, 2017. [Web video] Craig Gillespie [screenshot only].

Ikiru, 1952. [DVD] Akira Kurosawa.

I’m Not Here to Make Friends!, 2008. [Web video] richfofo (Rich Juzwiak).

In a Nutshell, 2018. [Web video] Fabio Friedli.

In Order Not To Be Here, 2002. [DVD] Deborah Stratman.

Indy Vinyl on The Clock (and the clock), 2019. [Web video] Ian Garwood.

Inside Llewyn Davis, 2013. [Blu-ray] Ethan and Joel Coen.

Intimate Stranger, 1991. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

Intolerance, 1916. [DVD] D. W. Griffith [screenshot only].

Iron Chef America – SECRET INGREDIENT, 2010. [Web video] MrEh.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, 1963. [Web video] Stanley Kramer [screenshot only].

IT’S THE 90S!, 2011. [Web video] Everything is Terrible!.

It’s The Hard Knock Life (Fail Compilation), 2017. [Web video] Claudia Castonguay.

James, 2007. [Web video] Katharina Arndt.

Jeff Goldblum Making Noises (Supercut), 2018. [Web video] Owenergy.

Jeux des reflets et de la vitesse, 1925. [DVD] Henri Chomette.

Jim Carrey Falls Down, 2015. [Web video] Shawn Kohne.

Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave [Official HD] – The Johnny Cash Project, 2010. [Web video] xChrisMilk.

Julian Palacz / Algorithmic Search for Love / Nominé Prix Cube 2013, 2013. [Web video] Le Cube.

Julianne Moore Loves to Cry…, 2010. [Web video] hh1edits (Harry Hanrahan).

Jupiter’s Thunderballs, 1903. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

Keeping America Scared, 2004. [Web video] Brennan Houlihan.

Keilar: Trump doesn’t know WikiLeaks? Roll the tape., 2019. [Web video] CNN.

Killing Us Softly, 1979. [Web video] Margaret Lazarus & Renner Wunderlich.

KISS KISS KISS, 1964. [Web video] Tadanori Yokoo.

Kiss Me Deadly, 1955. [DVD] Robert Aldrich.

Kiss the Girls, Make them Cry, 1979. [DVD] Dara Birnbaum.

Knute Rockne: All American, 1940. [Web video] Lloyd Bacon, montage by Don Siegel.

Kramer’s Entrance, 2009. [Web video] Tyler Creviston.

La classe américaine, 1993. [Web video] Michel Hazanavicius & Dominique Mézerette.

La sortie des usines Lumière, 1895. [DVD] Auguste and Louis Lumière.

Lady Gaga saying ‘there can be a hundred people in the room’ for one minute straight, 2018. [Web video] The Fab Teacher.

Lake Placid ‘80, 1980. [Web video] Nam June Paik.

Landbrug i Danmark [Agriculture in Denmark], 1907. [DVD] Nordisk Films Kompagni.

Landing onto Vehicles – Supercut, 2016. [Web video] supercutonline.

Latinos Beyond Reel, 2012. [Web video] Chyng Sun & Miguel Parker.

Le commandant Marchand au Cercle Militaire à Paris [Lumière cat. no. 1032], 1899. [Web video] unknown operator.

Leave No Trace, 2018. [DVD] Debra Granik [screenshot only].

Lesbian Kiss Episodes: ‘Vulture’s Secret History of Television’ Episode 4, 2015. [Web video] New York Magazine.

“Let Her Go”: The Movie Cliché Supercut, 2014. [Web video] HuffPostMovieMashups.

Let’s Dance, 2010. [Web video] bnewcol.

Let’s Enhance, 2009. [Web video] Duncan Robson.

Lisbôa Cronica Anedótica, 1930. [Web video] José Leitão de Barros.

Liverpool: La rade [Lumière cat. no. 702], 1897. [Web video] Alexandre Promio.

Lonesome, 1928. [Blu-ray] Paul Fejos.

Long Live the New Flesh, 2009. [Web video] Nicolas Provost.

Loose Canon: Hillary Clinton, 2016. [Web video] Lindsay Ellis.

Lumière and Company, 1995. [poster] 40 directors.

Mad Men’s Don Draper Says ‘What?’, ca. 2010. [Web video] dondrapersayswhat.

Make Mine Music!, 1946. [poster] Robert Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Joshua Meador.

Man with a Movie Camera, 1929. [DVD, Blu-ray] Dziga Vertov.

Manufacturing Consent, 1992. [Web video] Mark Achbar & Peter Wintonick.

March of the Movies, 1933. [Web video] J. Stuart Blackton.

Marlene, 1984. [DVD] Maximilian Schell.

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel – Official Trailer, 2018. [Web video] Marvel Entertainment.

Mary Poppins, Eliza Doolittle, and Julie Andrews’ Oscar, 2018. [Web video] Be Kind Rewind.

MATCH CUT: The Art of Cinematic Technique, 2016. [Web video] Celia Gómez.

Mechanical Principles, 1930. [DVD] Ralph Steiner.

Media Reacts To Conan’s Same-Sex Wedding News, 2011. [Web video] TeamCoco.

Melody Cruise, 1933. [DVD] Mark Sandrich.

Melody of the World, 1929. [Web video] Walter Ruttmann.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1975. [Web video] Jack Goldstein.

Metropolis, 1927. [Blu-ray] Fritz Lang.

Midnight, 2013. [Web video] Carolina Natalie [bootleg footage of an audience watching The Clock (Christian Marclay, 2010), shot at LACMA].

Montparnasse, 1929. [Web video] Eugène Deslaw.

Moskva, 1926. [Web video] Mikhail Kaufman & Ilya Kopalin.

Movie Phone Super Call, 2015. [Web video] Burger Fiction.

Movies in movies: A montage, 2013. [Web video] Clara Darko & Brutzelpretzel for Slacktory.

My Meds, 2009. [Web video] Natalie Bookchin.

My Own Private Idaho, 1991. [DVD] Gus van Sant [screenshot only].

Myrna Loy: So Nice To Come Home, 1991 [TV] Richard Schickel.

Myth in The Electric Age, 1981. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

Napoleon, 1927. [Blu-ray] Abel Gance.

Naqoyqatsi, 2002. [DVD] Godfrey Reggio.

Nashville, 1975. [poster] Robert Altman.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, 1984. [DVD] Hayao Miyazaki [screenshot only].

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, 31 Oct. 1992. [Web video] National Broadcasting Company.

Next Stop, Analysis: The Contradictory Trains of Cinema, 2018 [Web video] What’s So Great About That? (Grace Lee).

Night of 1000 Eyes, 1984. [Web video] Suzanne Goldbacher & Kim Flitcroft.

Normal Appearances, 2017. [Web video] Penny Lane.

North by Northwest, 1959. [Blu-ray] Alfred Hitchcock.

Nothing, 2017. [Web video] LJ Frezza.

October: Ten Days that Shook the World, 1927. [DVD] Sergei Eisenstein.

Of Oz the Wizard, 2004. [Web video] Matt Bucy.

Oh Boy, 1990. [Web video] Sterling Eidolan & the Odd Woman Out.

Olympia, Part 2: Festival of Beauty, 1938. [DVD] Leni Riefenstahl.

One Sixth of the World, 1926. [Web video] Dziga Vertov.

Opinion | Where’s the love for WikiLeaks now, President Trump?, 2019. [Web video] Washington Post.

Our Little Sister, 2015. [DVD] Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Overlord, 1975. [DVD] Stuart Cooper.

Owen Wilson Says WOW, 2015. [Web video] Owenergy.

Paramount on Parade, 1930. [poster] 21 directors.

Paris, je t’aime, 2006. [poster] 22 directors.

People in Movies and TV Hitting Deer With Their Cars (Supercut), 2017. [Web video] Wiseguy Pictures.

People on Sunday, 1930. [Blu-ray] Robert Siodmak & Edgar G. Ulmer.

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, 2005. [Web video] Killa.

Place de la Comédie [no Lumière catalogue number], 1896. [Web video] unknown operator.

Plain Talk and Common Sense, 1987. [Web video] Jon Jost.

Play, 2003. [DVD] Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller.

Point of Order, 1963. [Web video] Emile de Antonio.

Police appear to target journalists as they cover George Floyd protests, 2020. [Web video] Washington Post.

Police Mortality, 2013. [Web video] Anti-Banality Union.

Precious Images, 1986 [90’s re-release]. [Web video] Chuck Workman.

Precious Images winning the Oscar® for Live Action Short, 1987. [Web video] Oscars.

Pulp Fiction, 1994. [poster] Quentin Tarantino.

Pure, 2009. [Web video] Jacob Bricca.

Rabid, 2005. [Web video] Mike Olenick.

Radetzky March Supercut (Vienna Phil New Year’s compilation), 2015. [Web video] amt253 (Max Tohline).

Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981. [DVD] Steven Spielberg [screenshot only].

Reading Marx’s ‘Capital’ Volume 1 with David Harvey, Part 8, 2019. [Web video] The People’s Forum NYC.

Rebel Without a Cause, 1955. [DVD] Nicholas Ray [screenshot only].

REcreation, 1956–57. [Web video] Robert Breer.

Reel Bad Arabs, 2006. [Web video] Sut Jhally & Jack Shaheen.

Reel Injun, 2010. [Web video] Catherine Bainbridge & Neil Diamond.

Regen [Rain], 1929. [DVD] Joris Ivens.

Relatively Romantic – 1000 Kisses, 1984. [Web video] Klaus vom Bruch.

Richard Nixon Campaign Ad ‘Law and Order’, 1968. [Web video] director unknown.

Richard Nixon’s Acceptance Speech at the 1968 Republican National Convention, 1968. [Web video] director unknown.

Rien que les heures, 1926. [Web video] Alberto Cavalcanti.

Ro.Go.Pa.G, 1963. [poster] Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ugo Gregoretti.

Rock Hudson’s Home Movies, 1992. [VHS] Mark Rappaport.

Ronald McDonald insanity [M. C. Donarudo wa dansu ni muchuna no ka? Saishu kichiku dokeshi Donarudo M], 2008. [Web video] Mikuru.

Rose Hobart, 1936. [Web video] Joseph Cornell.

Rund um die Liebe, 1929. [censor cards in the German Federal Archive] Oskar Kalbus.

Salaam Cinema, 1995. [Web video] Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Samuel L. Jackson Death Reel, 2012. [Web video] Jukka-Pekka Bohm.

San Francisco, 1936. [DVD] W.S. Van Dyke.

São Paulo, a Metropolitan Symphony, 1929. [Web video] Adalberto Kemeny & Rudolpho Rex Lustig.

Say It with Songs, 1929. [Web video] Lloyd Bacon.

Schichlegruber Doing the Lambeth Walk, 1941. [DVD] Charles A. Ridley.

Secrets of a Soul, 1926. [Web video] Georg Wilhelm Pabst.

Seeing Time, 2007. [Web video] Su-Chen Hung.

Seinfeld, Season 6, Episode 14 “The Highlights of a Hundred”, 1995. [DVD] ed. Janet Ashikaga.

Sherlock, Jr., 1924. [DVD] Buster Keaton.

Sinclair’s Soldiers in Trump’s War on Media, 2018. [Web video] Timothy Burke for Deadspin.

Sing, 2016. [Web video] Garth Jennings.

Sins of the Fathers, 1928. [DVD] Ludwig Berger, montage sequence by Slavko Vorkapich.

Sirens, 2012. [Web video] Tyler Adams.

Sit Down and Shut Up: The Supercut, 2011. [Web video] dondrapersayswhat.

So This is Paris, 1926. [Web video] Ernst Lubitsch.

Sofia Coppola – Gilded Cages, 2017. [Web video] Joost Broeren & Sander Spies for Fandor.

Somewhere only we know, 2009. [Web video] Jesse McLean.

Sorkinisms – A Supercut, 2012. [Web video] Kevin T. Porter.

Sour Death Balls, 1993. [Web video] Jessica Yu.

Speedy, 1928. [Blu-ray] Ted Wilde.

Spike Lee – The Dolly Shot (Video Essay), 2012. [Web video] Richard Cruz. DOI:

Spin, 1995. [DVD] Brian Springer.

Sport, Sport, Sport, 1970. [Web video] Elem Klimov.

Standard Gauge, 1984. [Web video] Morgan Fisher.

Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber, 2014. [Web video] Star Wars.

Star Wars: The Premake, 2015. [Web video] John D’Amico.

States of the Union – Bill Clinton, 1997. [Web video] Aaron Valdez.

Statues also Die, 1953. [DVD] Chris Marker.

Sumurun, 1920. [Web video] Ernst Lubitsch.

Supercut: People in movies never kiss, 2013. [Web video] Alex Moschina for Slacktory.

Supercut: Reaction Videos (turn down your headphones!), 2012. [Web video] Slacktory.

Supercut: There’s a storm coming, 2012. [Web video] Jukka-Pekka Bohm.

Taking Off, 1971. [DVD] Milos Forman.

Teaching the Alphabet, 2007. [Web video] Volker Schreiner.

Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978. [DVD] Dara Birnbaum.

Telephones, 1995. [Web video] Christian Marclay.

Ten Meter Tower [Hopptornet], 2016. [Web video] Axel Danielson & Maximilien van Aertryck.

That’s Entertainment!, 1974. [DVD] Jack Haley, Jr.

The ‘Best Picture’ Show: The Final Image Oscar Montage, 2014. [Web video] Monte Patterson.

The 60th Annual Academy Awards telecast, 1988. [Web video] Marty Pasetta, montage by Chuck Workman.

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards telecast, 1990. [Web video] Jeff Margolis, montage by Chuck Workman.

The 64th Annual Academy Awards telecast, 1992. [Web video] Jeff Margolis, montage by Chuck Workman.

The 70th Annual Academy Awards telecast, 1998. [Web video] Louis J. Horvitz, montage by Chuck Workman.

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards telecast, 2010. [Web video] Hamish Hamilton, montage by Chuck Workman.

The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory, 2017. [Web video] Pop Culture Detective (Jonathan McIntosh).

The Adventures of Mark Twain, 1944. [DVD] Irving Rapper, montage sequences by Don Siegel.

The Annie Gasp: A ‘Community’ Supercut, 2012. [Web video] Zach Prewitt.

The Artwork in the Age of its Mechanical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin as told to Keith Sanborn, 1996. [Web video] Keith Sanborn.

The Atomic Café, 1982. [DVD] Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, & Pierce Rafferty.

The Automatic Moving Company, 1912. [Web video] Romeo Bossetti.

The Banner of Youth, 1957. [DVD] Walerian Borowczyk & Jan Lenica.

The Beaches of Agnes, 2008. [DVD] Agnès Varda.

The Big Lebowski, 1999. [DVD] Ethan and Joel Coen [screenshot only].

The Big Lebowski Fucking Short Version, 2006. [Web video] FUTURE.

The Big Parade of Comedy, 1964. [TV] Robert Youngson (clip from The Cameraman (Edward Sedgwick & Buster Keaton, 1928)).

The Big Short, 2015. [Blu-ray] Adam McKay, ed. Hank Corwin.

The Celluloid Closet, 1995. [Web video] Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman.

The Cook in Trouble, 1904. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

The Cool Girl Trope, Explained, 2019. [Web video] The Take (Susannah McCullough & Debra Minoff).

The Corporation, 2003. [DVD} Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott.

The Cranes are Flying, 1957. [DVD] Mikhail Kalatozov [screenshot only].

The Crowd, 1928. [TV] King Vidor.

The Cruise of the Jasper B., 1926. [DVD] James W. Horne.

The Cry of the Children, 1912. [DVD] George O. Nichols.

The Cutting Edge – The Magic of Editing, 2004. [Web video] Wendy Apple.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 1 Aug. 2011. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 11 Aug. 2011. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 18 Aug. 2011. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 27 Jan. 2011. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 28 Apr. 2003. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 28 Jun. 2011. [Web video] Chuck O’Neil.

The Dance of Life, 1929. [Web video] John Cromwell & A. Edward Sutherland.

The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 5, Episode 32 “The Last Chapter”, 1966. [Web video] Jerry Paris & John Rich.

The Dizzying Effect of the Snorricam, 2018. [Web video] Bill Rwehera for Fandor.

The Docks of New York, 1928. [DVD] Josef von Sternberg.

The Fabulous Baker Boys, 1989. [Web video] Steve Kloves.

The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty, 1927. [Web video] Esfir Shub.

The Family Album, 1988. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

The Famous Box Trick, 1898. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

“The Greatest” – a multifandom vid of characters of color in recent SF/F/horror, by bironic, 2018. [Web video] closetfan.

The Green Fog, 2017. [Web video] Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson.

The Hollywood Revue of 1929, 1929. [poster] Charles Reisner.

The Human Face is a Monument, 1965. [Web video] Stan VanDerBeek.

The Infernal Cauldron, 1903. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

The Kiss, 1985. [Web video] Raphael Montañez Ortíz.

The Lost World, 1925. [Web video] Harry O. Hoyt.

The Love Goddesses, 1965. [DVD] Saul J. Turell.

The Lumière Brothers’ First Films (1895–1897). 1999. [DVD] Kino. (Narrated by Bertrand Tavernier).

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962. [DVD] John Ford [screenshot only].

The Man with the Rubber Head, 1901. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

The Man You Loved To Hate, 1979. [VHS] Patrick Montgomery.

The Many Deaths of Steve Buscemi, 2011. [Web video] dondrapersayswhat.

The March of the Movies, 1927. [Web video] Terry Ramsaye & Otto Nelson.

The March of Time, Vol. 5 No. 12 “The Movies March On!”, 1939. [Web video] The March of Time.

The Mashin’ of the Christ, 2004. [Web video] Negativland.

The Media Project, 1991. [DVD] Peter Watkins.

The Mermaid, 1904. [DVD] Georges Méliès.

The Movie Orgy, 1968. [Web video] Joe Dante.

The Movie Phone Montage – Movie Mashup, 2015. [Web video] Sebastien Kerroumi.

The Muppet Movie, 1979. [DVD] James Frawley [screenshot only].

The nightmare videos of childrens’ YouTube — and what’s wrong with the internet today, 2018. [Web video] James Bridle & TED.

The Old and the New, 1929. [Web video] Grigoriy Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein.

The Republic Pictures Story, 1991. [VHS] Len Morris.

The Right Stuff, 1983. [Blu-ray] Philip Kaufman.

The Road Movie [Doroga], 2016. [Web video] Dmitrii Kalashnikov.

The Robe, 1953. [DVD] Henry Koster [screenshot only].

The Secret Policeman’s Ball, 1979. [poster] Roger Graef.

The Slanted Screen, 2006. [Web video] Jeff Adachi.

The Slow Clap, 2007. [Web video] YuppiePunk.

The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn, 1986. [TV] David Heeley.

The Sweetest Sound, 2001. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

The Ten Commandments, 1923. [Web video] Cecil B. DeMille.

The View: A ‘Back-to-the-Camera Shot’ Montage, 2013. [Web video] Zach Prewitt.

The Wilhelm Scream, 2011. [Web video] Cinexcellence.

The Wire: Tautology Supercut, 2015. [Web video] Propolandante.

The Wizard of Oz, 1939. [DVD] Victor Fleming, et al [screenshot only].

Things – Zoetrope, 2008. [Web video] bre pettis.

Thumbs up in the movies, 2017. [Web video] Onikorp.

To the Happy Few, 2003. [DVD] Thomas Draschan & Stella Friedrichs.

Tom and Jerry, Ep. 66: Smitten Kitten, 1952. [Web video] William Hanna & Joseph Barbera.

Tom Tom, The Piper’s Son, 1969. [Web video] Ken Jacobs.

Touki Bouki, 1973. [Blu-ray]. Djibril Diop Mambety [screenshot only].

Trump Dodges Questions on Mueller, Tax Returns, WikiLeaks – A Closer Look, 2019. [Web video] Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Trump offers no opinion on WikiLeaks or Assange, 2019. [Web video] Fox News.

Trump’s WikiLeaks Amnesia, 2019. [Web video] Mother Jones.

Tucker: Our leaders dither as our cities burn (GRAPHIC VIDEO), 2020. [Web video] Fox News.

Turksib, 1929. [Web video] Victor A. Turin.

Twelve Hundred Ghosts – A Christmas Carol in Supercut, 2016. [Web video] Heath Waterman.

Unsubscribe Series #1 – Special Offer Inside, 2010. [DVD] Jodie Mack.

Untitled (Potential Terrorist), 2002. [Web video] Kerry Tribe.

Uomini, anni, vita [People, Years, Life], 1990. [Web video] Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi.

Very Nice, Very Nice, 1961. [Web video] Arthur Lipsett.

Visual Disturbances, 2018. [Web video] Eric Faden.

Viva Villa, 1934. [DVD]Jack Conway, Howard Hawks, & William Wellman, montage sequence by Slavko Vorkapich.

Wail, 1960. [DVD] Jeff Keen.

Ways of Seeing, Ep. 2, Women in Art, 1972. [Web video] John Berger & Michael Dibb.

Ways of Seeing, Ep. 3, Collectors and Collecting, 1972. [Web video] (John Berger & Michael Dibb.

Ways of Seeing, Ep. 4, Commercial Art, 1972. [Web video] John Berger & Michael Dibb.

We Will Rock You, ca. 1992. [Web video] Emergency Broadcast Network.

Weekend Update – Julian Assange Arrested, 2019. [Web video] Saturday Night Live.

Wes Anderson // Centered, 2014. [Web video] kogonada

Westinghouse Works, Panorama View Street Car Motor Room, 1904. [DVD] Billy Bitzer.

We’ve Got Company! from The Guy Bauer Half Hour, 2010. [Web video] Guy Bauer.

What do you do with a drunken Vulcan?, 2012 re-creation of 1975 slide show. [Web video] Kandy Fong.

What Trump has said about Wikileaks – BBC News, 2019. [Web video] BBC News.

What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, 1967. [DVD] Woody Allen.

Whitsuntide Fair at Preston, 1906. [DVD] Mitchell and Kenyon.

Wide Awake, 2006. [Web video] Alan Berliner.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor, 2018. [Web video] Morgan Neville.

Wonder Woman Spins! – First Season, 2007. [Web video] olsolino.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?, 2002. [Web video] Laura Shapiro.

You Bet Your Life outtakes reel, ca. 1950–52, [Web video] compiler unknown.

You have beautiful stairs, you know, 1986. [DVD] Agnès Varda.

“You Just Don’t Get It, Do You?”: A Montage of Cinema’s Worst Writing Cliche, 2012. [Web video] Jeff Smith.

You’re watching Fox News. You just don’t know it., 2019. [Web video] Carlos Maza for Vox.

Youtube Poop – Aladdin commits suicide, 2010. [Web video] AlvinYTP.

Zorns Lemma, 1970. [Blu-ray] Hollis Frampton.

Other artworks

A-E-I-O-U and Sometimes Y, 2009. [Plastic rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on panel] Mickalene Thomas.

algorithmic search for love, 2010. [Keyboard, computer, screens, software] Julian Palacz.

All, 2010. [Installation of the artist’s complete body of work at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC] Maurizio Cattelan.

Amazing Grace, 1993. [Baby strollers, fire hose, and audio] Nari Ward.

Art Bin, 2010. [Installation of discarded artworks] Michael Landy.

Atlas, 1962–ongoing. [Found photographs on over 800 sheets] Gerhard Richter.

Black Drawings, 1991–92. [Mixed media on paper in 112 parts] Marlene Dumas.

Boulevard du Temple, 1838. [Daguerreotype] Louis Daguerre.

Car Atlas – Rainbow, 2010. [Installation of 2500 toy cars] David T. Waller.

Chorus II, 1988. [29 framed photographs] Christian Marclay.

Cloister of Saint-Trophime, Arles, 1851. [Partly hand-painted paper print composited from 10 separate negatives] Edouard Baldus. (with diagram of compositing lines from Marien, M W 2006 Photography: A Cultural History, 2nd Ed. Pearson Prentice Hall, p. 58.)

Coal Bunkers, Frontal Views, 1986–93. [Nine silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Cooling Towers, Steel-Corrugated Concrete: Cologne, Ruhr District, 1959–72. [Nine silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Crying Divas from the Screenplays of an Embroiderer II, 1999. [Laser prints on canvas with metallic embroidery] Francesco Vezzoli.

Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919. [Collage of pasted papers] Hannah Höch.

Every Mickey, 2017. [SLS Nylon, Acrylic Paint, STL File] Matthew Plummer Fernandez.

Every Shot, Every Episode, 2001. [277 video compact discs and video playback installation] Jennifer and Kevin McCoy.

Every… Bernd and Hilla Becher Gable Sided House, 2004. [Digital chromogenic print] Idris Khan.

Framework Houses, Industrial District of Siegen, 1959–1973, 1993. [12 duotone offset prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Hurray, the Butter is All Gone!, 1935. [Photocollage] John Heartfield.

ID400 (#201–300), 1998–2001. [Gelatin silver prints] Tomoko Sawada.

Infinity of Typewriters and Infinity of Monkeys and Infinity of Time = Hamlet, 1962. [Mixed media with typewriters] Arman.

John 3:16, 2000. [Single-channel video installation] Paul Pfeiffer.

Jorge Luis Borges (Book of Sand), 1995. [Lithograph] Joseph Kosuth.

Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, 2009. [Video installation] Kutluğ Ataman.

Minster, 1987–90. [Car parts] Tony Cragg.

Museums series, 1999. [Array of found objects mounted in artist’s box] Barton Beneš.

My Things: Book Keeping, 2006. [Digital print] Hong Hao.

No Man’s Land [selected images], 2011–2013. [Digital images] Mishka Henner.

Portrait of Robert Bonner, ca. 1860s. [Albumen silver print] William H. Mumler.

Rough Seas, 2012–14. [20 archival dry prints] Susan Hiller.

Selos, 1999. [Collaged stamps on paper] Nelson Leirner.

Signs without Signification, 2003–2007. [24 archival pigment prints] Jeff Brouws.

Sixteen Jackies, 1964 [Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas] Andy Warhol.

Solo Scenes, 1998. [131 VHS tapes on 128 monitors with VCRs, shelving] Dieter Roth.

Some Homosexual History, Profiles, Assumptions ‘Nach Magnus Hirsfeld,’ 2008. [Mixed media installation] Henrik Olesen.

Synecdoche, 1991–present. [Oil and wax on wood] Byron Kim.

The Brain, 2000–2014. [Mixed-media installation] Douglas Coupland.

The Construction of Fear [details], 2008. [Coupler prints] Antoni Muntadas.

The Horse in Motion, 1879. [Cabinet card] Eadweard Muybridge.

The hot winds that blow from the West, 2011. [Construction of 131 radiators] Bharti Kher.

The Nazis, 1998. [164 chromogenic photographs] Piotr Uklański.

The SHAPES Project, 2006. [7,056 unique digital prints, 4.25 x 5.5 in each] Allan McCollum.

The Sleepers, 1979. [176 photographs and 23 texts] Sophie Calle.

Tide Chandelier, 2005. [Found objects washed up on seashores] Stuart Haygarth.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations [selected images], 1963. [Artist’s book] Ed Ruscha.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 2009. [26 C-prints on aluminum] Jan Freuchen.

Two-Headed Man, c. 1855. [Daguerreotype] Unidentified American artist.

Untitled (Blue Objects), 2009. [Mixed media installation] Peter Coffin.

Untitled (Tokyo), 1988–2005. [Chromogenic prints] Naoya Hatakeyama.

Visible World, 1987–2001. [3000 color photograph transparencies on 15 light-box tables] Fischli & Weiss.

Voluntary Tortures, 1972 [86 gelatin silver prints] Annette Messager.

Waste Not, 2006. [Installation of 10,000 objects owned by the artist’s mother] Song Dong.

Water Towers, 1965–97. [15 Gelatin silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Water Towers, 1972. [Nine silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Water Towers, 1988. [21 silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Water Towers, 1988. [Nine gelatin silver prints] Bernd & Hilla Becher.

Witness, 2007. [Multimedia video installation] Frances Bagley.

Workers Leaving the Factory in 11 Decades, 2006. [12-channel video installation] Harun Farocki.

You see I am here after all, 2008. [3,883 vintage postcards] Zoe Leonard.

Other image credits

‘abc world news tonight 1975,’ 2020, YouTube, search result, viewed 23 June 2020,

Amazon Mechanical Turk 2020, Homepage, viewed 14 July 2020,

Ansari, A & Mohammed, M 2015 Content based video retrieval systems-methods, techniques, trends and challenges. International Journal of Computer Applications 112.7.

Ansyari, I, n.d. World National Flags of Countries. Available at [Accessed 7 December 2020].

Asha, D, Madhavee Latha, Y, & Reddy, V S K 2018 Content based video retrieval system using multiple features. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics 118(14), pp. 287–294.

‘Automatic number-plate recognition,’ 2020, Wikipedia, wiki article, viewed 12 July 2020,

Avgerinakis, K, Moumtzidou, A, Galanopoulos, D, Orfanidis, G, Andreadis, S, Markatopoulou, F, Batziou, E, Ioannidis, K, Vrochidis, S, Mezaris, V, & Kompatsiaris, I 2018 ITI-CERTH participation in TRECVID 2018. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Available at: [Accessed 23 December 2020].

Awad, G, Fiscus, J, Joy, D, Michel, M, Smeaton, A, et al 2017 TRECVID 2016: Evaluating video search, video event detection, localization, and hyperlinking, paper presented at TRECVID, November 2016. Available at: [Accessed 24 December 2020].

Bansal, R, & Chakraborty, S 2019 Visual content based video retrieval on natural language queries, paper presented at the 34th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing, April 2019. DOI:

Barthel, K U, Hezel, N, & Mackowiak, R 2015 Graph-based browsing for large video collections. Paper presented at International Conference on Multimedia Modeling. Springer, Cham, 2015. Available at: [Accessed 24 December 2020]. DOI:

BBC 2020 Class to remove ‘sexist’ dictionary definitions for ‘woman’. BBC 4 March 2020. Available at [Accessed 7 December 2020].

Bonte, A 2002 Happy End für eine Filmbibliothek? Die Filmbibliothek Kalbus in der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. In: Theke. Informationsblatt der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter im Bibliothekssystem, (2002), pp. 27–32.

Bourgeois, L 1998 Sunday Afternoons: A Conversation and a Remark on Beauty. In: Beckley, B & Shapiro, D (eds.) Uncontrollable Beauty: Toward a New Aesthetics. New York: Allworth Press.

‘Cell site,’ 2020, Wikipedia, wiki article, viewed 12 July 2020,

Chen, J, Huang, P, Liu, J, Liang, J, Hu, T, Ke, W, Barrios, W, Vaibhav, V, Chang, X, Huang, D, & Hauptmann, A 2018 Informedia @ TRECVID 2018: Ad-hoc Video Search, Video to Text Description, Activities in Extended video. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Available at: [Accessed 23 December 2020].

‘Claude Closky, b. 1963,’ 2020,, director page, viewed on 23 June 2020,

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