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Old Hollywood (and Vienna)

24 december 2012

The Christmas holidays are the perfect time to do that wonderful thing: sit down in the middle of the day and watch old movies. Coccooning in pajamas with hot chocolate at hand, while it’s raining outside and there are a thousand useful things that should be done – the ultimate relaxation.

Yesterday the Belgian TV broadcast The Shop Around the Corner (1940!), about two shop employees in Budapest who dislike each other in real life, but love each other as anonymous pen pals. I found Margaret Sullavan as the heroine Klara very tiresome, but James  Stewart is a dashing leading man, and the film as a whole was quite lovely. It’s amazing how a 72-year-old movie can still be so entertaining and contemporary.

Shop around the corner

I found this lovely image at

Good morning – Singin’ in the Rain

Another holiday favorite is of course Singin’ in the Rain (1952). I’ve talked earlier about how this is my favorite movie of all time, and how it’s responsible for me taking tap dancing lessons hoping to one day dance like Gene Kelly (yeah, right). When celebrating Christmas Eve with my in-laws everybody is always asked to ‘do’ something – read a poem, bring a piece of music, tell a story, whatever. My contribution this year will be a screening of  ‘Moses’, the glorious tap dancing duet between Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Watch it here  and be amazed.

Moses – Singin’ in the Rain

Both images found at


Image found at

And then of course there’s the Sissi trilogy, the sugar sweet 1950s film adaptation of the life of empress Elisabeth of Austria. I see them every year, and every time I love the dresses, the palaces and the gorgeous Austrian landscape, and every year I yell at the screen: “Don’t do it, Sissi, don’t marry Franz-Joseph! Marry Carl-Ludwig instead!” But she never listens – no wonder she was unhappy.

I wish you all relaxing, movie-filled holidays and a happy and creative 2013!


De kerstvakantie is het uitgelezen moment om lekker overdag naar een oude film te kijken, als het buiten regent en je eigenlijk nog duizend andere dingen te doen hebt. Een paar favorieten dit jaar zijn ‘The shop around the corner’, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ en natuurlijk ‘Sissi’! 

Ik wens jullie allemaal fijne, ontspannen kerstdagen en een heel gelukkig en creatief 2013!

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