amy merrickliving in

living in: doctor zhivago

by amym

It’s not hard to imagine living in . All one needs to do is step outside these days in New York and poof! Magically you are transported to a icy wonderland complete with bitter, howling winds and huddling masses of very cold people.  If we all took a leaf from the doctor zhivago book, we’d be toasty and rosy cheeked in our massively proportioned furry hats. I don’t know about you but I vote yes.

1. , $26; 2. , $738; 3. , $88; 4. , $225; 5. , $1795; 6. , $25; 7. , $49; 8. , $16 +; 9. , $55; 10. $69.

I’m not going to lie, Doctor Zhivago takes dedication. And patience. And a spare 3 and half hours. Better cozy up under your scratchiest blanket and pour yourself a glass or two of Stolichnaya (if you are a brave soul). If you can swing it, you’ll be rewarded with Russia at it’s dreamiest- abandoned ice castles, cozy cottages and deeply romantic and tortured poets.  Even so, you better hunker down because it’s going to be a long, cold night.

1. , $225; 2. , $149; 3. , $16; 4. , $154; 5. , $32 each; 6. , $34; 7. , $3295; 8. , $299; 9. , $199.

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  • God, I love the look of this film! The pale color palette of the set interiors and all that folkloric embroidery. Swoon. As far as the story goes, the UK TV version with Keira Knightley and Sam Neill is also good and moves a bit faster.

  • And revolution, starving peasants, totalitarianism, & asstd. suffering. I get what you do with these posts but sometimes it’s good to ack right up front…otherwise, you will find yourself posting on Schindler’s List if you’re not careful. A dedicated reader but … wow, seriously. “Russia at its dreamiest” ? Eek.

  • Oh, I just love this blog and I remember that I never made a coment about this.
    So, hear I am and I am sorry for my bad english.. Oh and changing the subjet, this is an incridible movie!

  • That is SO funny — I just saw the movie last night and checked here to see if you had done one of these “living in” features on it. As of last night I was sad . . . today, elated! Great work!

  • I’m with commenter “Susan,” above. Late and post-imperial Russia: pogroms, New Economic Policy, starvation, misery, persecution of anyone with an education. Good times! Please, I love Omar Sharif and Julie Christie as much as the next epic movie fan, but this is beyond the pale. They were huddling around those candlesticks for warmth, not mood lighting. Read “We the Living” or the novel “Doctor Zhivago.”

  • Jeez, people, films are a very visual medium, and this film is a lush masterpiece. She can appreciate the look of a film without actually condoning the actual historical period it is about. And no, they weren’t actually huddling around the candlesticks for warmth. They were on a set.

    I for one love this movie for the sets and the costumes and Omar Sharif’s eyes. Just because I love it doesn’t mean I want to actually live in the period.

  • As it always does, life went on during the turbulent Bolshevik Revolution. And as always, out of devastating times come the most compelling stories of how ordinary people manage and how their lives are affected. Doctor Zhivago is a beautiful story and movie. It’s wonderful to see it featured here today and thank you for reminding me. I’m looking forward to snuggling up in a scratchy blanket to watch it. An oversized faux fur beret would be lovely too!

  • Ooooh. John Hamm who? Just look at Omar Sharif…now I remember why I named my son after Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl. I was, and still am, smitten even though he must be eighty by now…..


  • One of my favorites of all time (I also have the soundtrack and can’t help but get emotional every time “Lara’s Theme” comes on), and I strongly recommend the book if you haven’t read it! Also, I second the The Sound of Music suggestion above. Thanks for the wonderful posts; I look forward to them every week.

  • Sometimes when my house is freezing cold at night I think, “At least I’m not sleeping at Varykino with the wolves outside.” However, if it means I looked like Julie Christie and Omar Sharif wrote love poems about me, well that’s different.

  • I LOVE this movie. I love the frosty cottage, but especially how they make due, and are even happy, under such extreme circumstances. I just wrote a blog post about how much Freja Beha Erichsen looks like a modern day Julie Christie.

  • oh i just had to stop and get all nostalgic. one of the first movies my husband and i watched together (when dating) was this romantic movie. it actually inspired our wedding…this movie did! we were married in the SNOW, in Yosemite. we eloped actually. i found a lovely woman who took me to down town LA to choose the fabrics for my ‘gown’ which consisted of 3 layers of satin and fur and a very warm oversized white furry beret. I will have to post some pics of our wedding on my blog. you have inspired me! :) thank you for this awesome post. Ps. we just celebrated our 8th year of marriage and yes – we watch Dr.Zh every year :) :)

  • you seriously just made my day for choosing this movie for the living in column today :)

    p.s. congrats on making front page of yahoo!

  • This is what this movie means to me: “For men and women in love, every parting is a little tragedy reminding them of death, of the final inconceivable separation of those whose bodies and souls are entwined in such a way as to produce the illusion that they are inseparable.” – Allan Bloom

  • Oh! I have some Lomonosov choshki (cups and saucers) that I bought from the Lomonosov factory in St. Petersburg in 2005! They are very beautiful and so much cheaper to buy when you’re in Russia! I think they worked out to be less than ten dollars. I also bought a porcelain catfish (I love catfish) for about a dollar.

    Anyway, I love seeing Russian stuff that I am familiar with out and about, so it was really enjoyable to read this post!

  • i studied in eastern europe for a year and i badly wanted one of those amazing over sized fur berets that the all the older women were wearing! will have to save up.

  • While I would seriously not want to ‘live in’ this movie it is an old favorite of mine that coincidentally I rewatched only a couple of weeks ago. I loved it when it first came out, all the characters are so well cast and the romance is unforgettable! The cottage and Lara’s apartment have always stayed in my mind and the aprons! Good choice.

    Would love your take on ‘The Quiet Man’ an oldie, maybe schmaltzy but so entertaining and Irish!

  • Great post, love the spice boxes. I’ve just read the book
    and plan watch the film the next time I have the house to myself 3
    1/2 hours to spare. I think I ‘ll be needing a box of tissues as
    well as the scratchy blanket.

  • LOL! Hunker down for three and a half hours is right! I
    steeled myself one time to get through this movie – I know it was
    huge when it was initially released, but for the life of me I just
    couln’t get into it, although the theme song definitely gets stuck
    in your head – I suppose its one of ‘those movies’ you should see.
    I completely agree with Jill, on the other hand, about ‘The Quiet
    Man’ – John Wayne, the fabulous Maureen O’Hara, and the rugged,
    romantic Irish countryside – you may need to borrow a neighborhood
    pub for that one!

  • Never have seen the movie, but loved the book!
    As for faux fur hat…H&M has one right now, but I’m not sure it’s on their website. It’s big and comes in black or tan.

  • Sad you didn’t choose a faux fur hat for this Living In. First time i’ve ever been disappointed in this amazing blog.

  • Love your Living In… and had to comment today! One of my
    New Year resolutions is to catch up on all of the classic movies I
    always meant to see. Dr. Zhivago is very high on my list, and now
    even more so! Love your “props” especially the Lomonosov Teacup,
    the candleholders (lighting biased!),… And I’ve already
    envisioned a hundred different uses for those great little spice

  • I may be the only one, but I absolutely cannot stand Doctor Zhivago. I can never get past thinking about his poor wife stuck in France along with their kids.

  • I love these living in posts. I am now a proud subscriber to netflix and I owe it all to designsponge and Amy Merrick. These posts have exposed me to foreign, historical, and even quirky movies that I probably would have never had the pleasure to view. I hope Amy and design sponge will continue this feature so that I will continue to be rewarded with a new movie experience.

  • These “Living in” posts are always so beautifully done. Now that I’m thinking about revamping my own place, I find I’ve got “Gilmore Girls” on the mind…clearly, not a film, but have you considered it? Floral print wallpaper, quilts, wisteria wrapped around the porch, and that beautiful cream-coloured stove (wasted, sadly). Star’s Hollow is how I picture all of Conn. because of this show.

  • Wasn’t that frozen house just amazing? Awesome film, must have watched it at least three times. and knowing the length of the film that says something…!And many tears shed of course, over and over…Would love to channel Lara’s style(not her love life though-tear..!)

  • My mom and I would always watch this movie during snowstorms. Growing up in the mid-atlantic, I was always so awe-struck by the snow, especially at Yuriatin. I read the book this winter during our first snowstorm of the year — and suddenly certain parts of the movie make much more sense… Thank you for the wonderful post! — love the envelope tray!

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