The supercut may seem a worn-out format for video essays to use. But this effort, made for Field of Vision, proves its power is not yet fully spent, its impact not blunted. Filmmaker and data artist Josh Begley has compiled footage of every concussion sustained during the 2017-2018 season of the NFL. The result is a harrowing video essay that focusses not only on the injuries themselves, but also on the way they are televised and exploited commercially.
Begley drains the sports footage of its usual testosterone filled power. No fast cutting, no loud sports fanfare bumpers or stingers… even the impacts themselves are muted and tempered. This defamiliarizes the images to the point of them becoming uncomfortable to watch. Through its very style, using mainly reversed footage, the video conjures the question if these injuries (and the entertainment industry built around this spectacle) are a given… or if they are reversible.