Group 4

The strange appeal of watching movies in a million parts

TikTok is cutting up cinematic works into tiny clips — and some prefer it that way


In a clip with over 500k views on @subwaytakes — described as “a 1 minute podcast on the subway”, producer Adam Faze explains his preference for watching movies on TikTok. Faze, arguably best known for being Olivia Rodrigo’s ex, says the last movie he watched was a film from the ‘90s that was cut down into 19 parts and posted on the app.

Whilst, Faze caught heat in the comments — “Honestly I was with him up until he said he watches films on TikTok, that’s despicable” — the act of watching movies on TikTok isn’t actually unique, even if it’s a symptom of our attention deficit culture. In fact, clipped up movies and TV shows get millions of views on the app — a clip from Kingsman: The Secret Service has over 30m views and “part 1” of the film The Green Mile has a whopping 87m views. There are even accounts dedicated to posting movie clips — has gained over 2.9 followers for posting segments from everything Ant-Man to A Bronx Tale.

So, why do movie clips — accompanied by boxy black bars on either side — do so well on TikTik, historically home to video that’s seemingly the opposite in size and duration to that of the silver screen?

Part of its engagement 101 — the video clips chosen are often the most dramatic or outrageous, meaning viewers are more likely to get hooked in. And the creators almost never include the title of the film or in the post, meaning the comments are flooded with viewers asking what the clip is from and even more replying. But it also reflects a strange TikTok-specific-tactic — film/TV segments are often placed side-by-side with ASMR-adjacent clips of disembodied hands pouring jelly into silicone moulds or handling slime. It’s become common practice on the app as a means of keeping viewers engaged for longer, and when applied to film and TV segments the result can feel addictive — a mix of classic Hollywood drama and TikTok’s “oddly satisfying = engagement” techniques.