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Matinee: 'Albert Heijn Christmas 2017' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

23 December 2017

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 129th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Albert Heijn Christmas 2017.

Now and then we let our silly side pick the matinee but with Christmas just a couple of days away, this time we thought we'd go all Hallmark on you. Get yourself some tissues before you click Play.

Albert Heijn is the name of a supermarket. In fact it's the largest Dutch supermarket chain. And it was founded in 1887 by Albert himself.

Its great innovation was introducing self service to grocery shopping. As you no doubt have seen in an old western, when you needed some supplies at the general store in the old days, you told a clerk what you wanted and they got it for you.

Albert figured everybody could just do their own running around. And today we have aisles of merchandise littered with shopping carts (some abandoned, some parked precariously, some going with the flow of traffic). We even have warehouses full of industrial shelving holding merchandise to be hauled to a cash register on dollies.

Thanks, Albert. You certainly made life more interesting.

Our video has very little to do with shopping, although it makes an appearance. It's apparently a 1:30 minute TV commercial intended to deplete your supply of facial tissues. Which Albert Heijn can resupply.

It begins with an intimate scene of an elderly gent removing his stubble with an old electric razor. And it isn't cordless either.

You see a shelf lined with photos of the old boy in his youth just to prove he was once younger. Just like us. Then the video cuts to him refining his shave with shaving cream and a blade razor. If you look closely, you'll see the razor is vintage, too. Not one of those disposable things.

When he irons his shirt we get the impression he lives alone. And that's confirmed a few scenes later when, dressed in a suit and tie, he looks at a photo of his wife and purses his lips briefly. Watch carefully, it's easy to miss.

He goes shopping. In the wind. At Albert Heijn. Just as it's closing (which is no problem, they're happy to see him). He's looking for just a little something.

Then he continues to the door of the home where he has been invited to Christmas dinner.

And elderly woman answers the door, meeting his smile with one of her own. She is not his sister. He gives her the little something and she graciously appears moved by his thoughtfulness. And she reciprocates by brushing his hair back. The wind, remember?

She brings him into the dining room and ... well, we're going to stop there. We don't want you weeping all over our Web site. But don't miss the reaction of the little girl with her mother and sister.

Appie Christmas indeed.

You're going to need some way to recover after that. And nothing quite dries up the tears with more misdirection than a little mischief that you can't help laughing about.

Albert Heijn to the rescue:

This one is only 45 seconds long. But like the one above, you may be puzzled by what's going on at first.

Short as it is, you won't be puzzled too long. You'll see the kids at the assisted living facility swiping shoes. When they've got enough shoes, they sneak out and run over to the closest Albert Heijn store.

What happens next you can find out within the next minute. I can already hear your ho-ho-ho.

The happiest of holidays to you!

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