The Queue

The Queue is an oft-recurring column in which Meg Shields provides you with a distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web.

If you’re new to The Queue, start here:

Explore the full archives for The Queue below

Full House yellow TV graphics Title Card

And It Was All Yellow: The Color Theory of TV Graphics


Watch a video essay explaining why old TV shows tended to feature yellow title cards.

Carrie New Hollywood

Earnestness and Irony: The Double-Minded Cinema of ‘Carrie’


New Hollywood. I might have known it would be New Hollywood.

Inglorious Basterds editing natural

What Makes a Cut “Feel Right”?


And what even is a “natural” edit, anyway?

Speed Movie Explosions

The Art of Movie Explosions (And Why They Don’t Look Like Real Ones)


Fire in the hole! Or…multiple holes, safety padded with foam, and directed towards the camera.

True Grit Chiaroscuro film lighting

Shadow Play: The Art and History of Cinematic Chiaroscuro


There’s a reason chiaroscuro lighting has been around for hundreds of years. It’s effective and dynamic, and it tells a story.

Ralph Bakshi Lord of the Rings Rotoscoping

A Beginner’s Guide to Rotoscoping


What do a dancing walrus and a long-legged ghost have to do with jazz superstar Cab Calloway? Well, in a word: rotoscoping.

Blade Runner director's cut

What is the Purpose of a Director’s Cut?


Watch a video essay explaining the idea and how it became so commonly accepted as the most authentic version of a film.

Alien Aliens Ellen Ripley

A Tale of Two Ripleys: Gender and Genre in ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’


What’s better, a relatable final girl or an ’80s power fantasy? Here’s a breakdown of why each Ripley, in ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens,’ is perfect for her film.

Sound Of Metal Sound Design

The Brilliant Sound Design of ‘Sound of Metal’


From the dropped frequencies to the powerful contrast, here’s how the film uses sound to convey its protagonist’s subjective experience with hearing loss.