Needs 5 Ratings

Alles is niks (1978)

During a cocktail party on New Years eve, two men wax philosophically about the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes.





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Cast overview:
Frits Lambrechts
Willem Nijholt


During a cocktail party on New Years eve, two men wax philosophically about the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes.

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Release Date:

31 December 1978 (Netherlands)  »

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Alles is niks
Lyrics by Karel Eykman
Music by Tony Nolte
Arrangement by Tony Nolte & Jerry van Rooyen
Performed by Willem Nijholt
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User Reviews

A good way to ruin New Years
22 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

The IKON (Interkerkelijke Omroep Nederland) broadcasts radio and television programs thanks to the support of seven Dutch religious denominations. On New Years eve 1978 they screened this 20 minute musical tribute to the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. In it, two men at a cocktail party (Willem Nijholt & Frits Lambrechts) sing a selection of songs on the subject of the actions of man being vain, futile, empty, meaningless, temporary, transitory, and fleeting. All the while being accompanied by the Metropole orchestra.

Nijholt, looking quite dashing in a three piece suit, is the organizer of the party and Lambrechts, rather butch in his tight leather jacket a late guest and old friend. Nijholt's home (a set, obviously) is filled to the brim with uncredited party-goers who all converse in silly speech bubbles sporting disconnected lines such as 'Humbug der Hervorming'. But Willem and Frits are in a philosophical mood and keep singing to the camera about serious subjects they obviously care about. Frits especially seems to be concerned with the plight of the working man, and each time he sings his words are accompanied by black and white newspaper photos. Not that the rest of the party ever seems to notice. There is no proper dialog in between the songs and apart from a disclaimer during the credits it never really explains which part of the Bible they are referencing.

The songs were written by Karel Eykman, the perfect choice for a subject matter such as this. He always did have a knack for covering depressing subjects like death, despair and loneliness even when writing for children's programs. Apparently a long playing record accompanied by a booklet with the lyrics was released by the Hervoormde Jeugdraad around the same time. Perhaps the intend of the songs in the program were a bit more clear in combination of the booklet, for watching the show without any prior knowledge it all remains a bit of a mystery. I wonder how many people caught this show during it's original broadcast only to swiftly switch to the other side (there were only two channels in the Netherlands in 1978) to safeguard their evening from being ruined.

5 out of 10

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