Much has been made of the fact that—as Jack Black sang at the Oscars in February—these days, everybody has screens in their jeans that they can use to watch any cinematic masterpiece while they’re on the bus or eating breakfast. But while the laments like the Oscars song have been about what it means for the art of cinema, there’s another question worth considering: namely, what if it results in a hyper-cut mental state where viewers are unable to distinguish reality from the images they’ve seen on their phones over and over again? And now, with the animated short “All Your Favorite Shows” from production studio Ornana and directed by Danny Madden, we finally have an exploration of that subject.
The four-minute video uses a combination of original animation and footage from dozens of existing movies—everything from The Matrix to The Place Beyond The Pines—frantically edited together in a supercut style to tell its story. That story is about a middle-school-aged boy whose obsession with watching all his favorite shows leads the line between fantasy and reality to blur. But in a neat twist, “fantasy” is depicted by the live-action footage pulled from all of the movies that the boy has watched, while “reality” is simple animation with an innocent, hand-drawn aesthetic.
The film uses a few techniques we’ve seen before—it’s not the first supercut to build a kind of stop-motion animation from pre-existing footage from movies—but it might be the first to apply those things in service of building an original narrative with something to say about our screen-filtered world. If this is the end result of putting screens in your jeans, then Hollywood should have something new to sing about.