John Carpenter’s POV

Video essays are all about execution. While the premise is important, it is in the actual execution that the idea comes to fruition. A good idea can be ruined by sloppy editing and an average insight can produce unexpected results when handled well.


Take this example. It starts from a seemingly simple observation: there are a lot of point of view shots in John Carpenter movies. That could have led to another run-of-the-mill supercut, but KINO’s assured and deft editing gives this effort added value. The pacing is flawless and almost hypnotic, forgoing the usual ADHD inducing fast cutting of supercuts for a much more leisurely tempo. This pace serves the piece well, because you get the opportunity to ponder the radicalness of Carpenter’s stylistic choices.


The common asthmatic supercut relies on the energy of its speedy succession of images to bridge the caesuras between differing shots. This supercut on the contrary looks for recurring visual motifs in Carpenter’s oeuvre to tie the montage together and smooth out the transitions. Putting on glasses, watching a show on television, the use of masked shots to suggest the shape of vision… all these motifs help string together otherwise dissimilar scenes, and as a bonus they reinforce this video essay’s central theme of the subjective camera.