So, let's take a minute to consider how things — meaning ordinary and even less-than-ordinary objects — matter in movies. To be extra specific, movies need props, or the inanimate things that populate any set. If they're good, they help establish setting, whether it's in the past, present, future, or somewhere a little more fantastical. Maybe they help accentuate the mood, in the case of bottles of wine in a romantic comedy. Maybe they signal oncoming violence, or they represent a bygone age, like with lightsabers. Movies can even be about their props, with characters insisting they have minds of their own. (Hi, The Lord of the Rings!)
Rishi Kaneria, in his first video essay, digs deep into why props matter in movies. It's good, but it also does a great job of showing why material culture matters in everyday life. Just as film characters might be lost without their MacGuffins or symbolic weapons, we'd be lost without the stuff we imbue with cultural meaning. Just something to think about.