Watch: Video Essay Explores the Cinematic Use of… Chairs?

Knocked Up Chairs Rudd Rogen

Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen in Knocked Up

Photo: Universal Pictures

Ah, the chair, quite an invention isn’t it? I’m sitting in one as I write this article, and perhaps you are too while you read it. Funny thing about the chair though, unless it is really comfortable, really uncomfortable, being thrown across the room or broken across one’s back, it is unlikely we pay much attention to the specific characteristics of that chair: what type it is, how much it cost, its shape, what its made of, how specifically it is used, and so on.

But in film chairs can be of surprising importance, something Vimeo user Tony Zhou explores in the latest installment of his ongoing series, “Every Frame a Painting“.

In the video embedded below, Zhou tells us to consider what a chair is doing in a particular scene and what it means for the characters or the film as a whole. For instance, perhaps it is simply an extension of the world, a design feature or prop used to fill the environment. Or perhaps it is an extension of the character, such as Carl’s and Ellie’s chairs in Up, which match the shapes of their faces. Or maybe still is is an extension of a situation, used to inform the scene or set up or continue a joke.

Bottom line, chairs are important, you guys, and over the course of about five minutes you can watch Zhou’s video below to see how chairs are used in different films and television shows, including Knocked Up, The Godfather Part II, Play Time, and “Game of Thrones“, which has a type of chair in its title for crying out loud.

[vimeo id=”129242528″ width=”640”]