Brow Beat

This Video Essay on Chairs in Cinema Is Way More Interesting Than It Should Be

The Dude and his chair.  

Still from YouTube

Tony Zhou’s scholarly video series, “Every Frame a Painting,” reliably provides some of the best film analysis online, with subjects ranging from Martin Scorsese’s deft use of silence to the geometric style of Akira Kurosawa. But Zhou’s latest video tackles a slightly more mundane topic: chairs.

Seemingly trivial, sure, but Zhou convincingly argues that there’s more to a chair than the site of a character’s sit-down. As he notes, whether it’s the Dude’s ratty recliner or Lord of the Rings’ many thrones, there’s always someone behind the scenes who “took the time to find the exact right chair for the story,” making the object one of the more telling aspects of a film’s production design.