Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at something we all take for credit: where movies end.
Not to through an ontological wrench into your harmless moviegoing experience, but when does a movie end?
Common sense would dictate that a movie ends when the credits roll. The story is over once that laundry list of hard-working filmmakers starts to crawl its way down the screen, right? Well, not always. As with all things worth discussing, it’s a little messier than that.
First, let’s approach the question from a different angle. The matter of when a movie begins is also debatable. There is a long and storied tradition of filmmakers using opening title credits and even studio logos to set the mood, introduce musical and visual themes, and even get the plot rolling. The same, albeit to a lesser extent, can be said of a film’s end credits. While end credits tend to perform the pragmatic function of letting impatient moviegoers know that they are welcome to get up and leave, some closing sequences blur the line between where paratext starts and the narrative stops.
There are more obvious examples of end credits that still “count” as part of the movie: compelling graphical choices, fourth-wall-breaking stingers, blooper reels, and epilogues. And there’s also a case to be made that even the most minimalist credits — the hard proof that these people made this movie — ought to be considered as an integral part of a film, not just the green flag to rush out of a theater. As it turns out, “when does a movie end?” is really a question with multiple answers. Some of which are eloquently provided in the video essay below …
Watch “The End … or is it?”:
Who made this?
This video essay on when a movie ends, exactly, is by Mathias Korsgaard, whose scant Vimeo presence you can check out here.
More videos like this
- We’re big fan of creative end-credits sequences around these parts. We’re especially keen on the way that Jackie Chan ends Police Story. A.k.a. with a montage showcasing how the director (Jackie Chan) and the actor (Jackie Chan) worked very hard on the movie. Oh, right, and the sequence is backed by a pop track sung by Jackie Chan. Duh.
- If that opening part of the video essay about the super neat studio logo for The Matrix got you all excited, here’s a video essay all about the art and nostalgia of the film company logo.
- And here’s a video essay on the thematic thrust of the opening credits sequence of HBO’s Succession.
- And finally, thinking about winking end credits that ask audience members to leave the theater, here’s a video essay on the uniquely cinematic ways movies break the fourth wall.
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