Ordinary Things (that happened in the childhood home of the maker of this film)



The reliability of memory is being questioned when, set within the highly constructed world of Old Hollywood, the filmmaker recalls memories of her childhood home.


Rachel Gruijters, the maker of this film, scrubs tile flooring until it shines like a mirror. In the reflection Joan Crawford appears. Together they pursue a sentimental journey in the world of Classical Hollywood and Ordinary Things. Somewhere in between the 1940s and now, the cameras start turning and Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich gather on one film set. The floor gleams, the spotlights are burning, the narration starts.

Born out of a fascination for the construction that is Hollywood, and by extension ‘the perfect Hollywood home’, the maker embodied these three actresses and their so-called private lives. Their smallest personality traits are performed so precise and characteristically that it becomes artificial. The home isn’t homely. It plays “house” and the inhabitants are speaking Hollywoodian.

Every carefully selected detail tells something about the person that is pictured, a trace that eventually leads back to the maker behind the machine. Occasionally we think we catch a glimpse of her, hidden behind a vulnerable silence or a glance in some unseen moment.

With support of:

Het Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF), KASK / School of Arts, Herculeslab


Writer & director: Rachel Gruijters
Producer: Lotte Van Craeynest (Blauwhuis)
Assistant director: Janne van de Weijer
Performance: Rachel Gruijters
DOP: Lennert De Taeye
Assistant camera: Charles Dhont
Art direction: Stephanie Desmadryl
Assistant art department: Pieter-Jan Desmadryl
Wardrobe: Stijn Van den Bulck
Lingerie: Ophelia Debisschop
Editing: Rachel Gruijters & Jasper Flikschuh
Sound editor: Yoerik Roevens (Sonogents)
Foley artist: Elias Vervecken
Catering: Neri De Meester & Maud Gyssels (TAFEL)


2018, Jan. 22: Avant-Premiere, KASKcinema (Ghent, BE)
2018: Closed screening for students, part of ‘Artist as a Digital Archivist’- project, The Norwegian Students’ Society’s building, Oslo (NO)
2018: Closed screening for students, part of ‘Artist as a Digital Archivist’- project, University of Oslo, Oslo (NO)
2018: Gallery Screening – Artist as a Digital Archivist, Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops (CA)


Over alledaagse dingen, 09-12-2017. Author: Liene Aerts (Dutch)
READER – Ordinary Things – Rachel Gruijters, At the End of the Fishing Line, 23-01-2018. Author: Evelien Claeyé (Dutch)
Over diva’s en theedoeken / gesprek met Rachel Gruijters, 28-06-2018. Author: Heleen Andriessen (Dutch)