By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood December 31, 2012 at 5:05PM
Much of the time, supercuts – videos that mash together various clips around a certain theme – don’t gain any lift-off beyond fan obsession. However, when movie supercuts do transcend this compulsion, they can achieve something incisive, critical, hilarious, or glorious. In the best of supercuts, the rhythm is phenomenal and the catalogue is inspirational. These test your movie mettle or challenge you to round out your roster. By grouping a range of films around a particular idea, they can alert us to a script-writing trope, trace the transition of films through time, deconstruct a genre, or just provide a comically insightful observation that you will never overlook again. Watch all the best, and some extras, below.
Best Genre Deconstruction: The Heist
Supercuts almost exist to breakdown a genre, from romances, to James Bond movies, super heroes (182 in this one), horror, and heist. It was the latter that wins best genre deconstruction of the year – this supercut both mashes together heist movies and explains their formula, making dozens of movies flow seamlessly into one plot.
Best Director Geek-Out: PT Anderson’s Steady Cam
My personal favorite category, the BFI's examination of PT Anderson’s steady cam (watch here) gave an incredible analysis of his cinematography and direction of his movies from “Hard Eight” straight on through to “There Will Be Blood.” Spike Lee's dolly shots was a close second.
Most Silly: Famous People Playing Themselves
While “Val Kilmer Losing His Glasses” certainly has the most obscure premise (and a very hearty library) and the other bespectacled supercut features Meryl Streep playing with her shades, it was the meta “Famous People Playing Themselves” that provides that best examination of this Hollywood pat on the back.
Best Script Trope-Buster: There Are Two Kinds of Movies in the World
For a previous TOH article, the “two kinds of people in the world” supercut inspired some research and we dated the phrase back to the 1962 film "The Longest Day," a semi-historical look a D-Day. James Chapman's video shows the best of supercuts - picking out a certain quality and tracing its progress through film. (Quick tidbit: "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" uses the binary five times in this video.) Other highlights from this category include “are you crazy?" as well as “there’s no time to explain,” and “he’s right behind me, isn’t he?”
Best Character Cliché-Buster: Manic Pixie Dream Girl
And what character could be more deserving than the love-to-hate-it MPDG? Something particularly admirable about this supercut is that it traces the MPDG, a phrased coined in 2005 by film critic Nathan Rabin, back to Julie Andrew’s Maria in “The Sound of Music.”