Museum Hours

A film by Jem Cohen
Starring Mary Margaret O'Hara, Bobby Sommer, Ela Piplits

Vienna, winter. Johann, a guard at the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum encounters Anne, a foreign visitor called to Austria because of a medical emergency.

Never having been to Austria and with little money, Anne wanders the city in limbo, taking the museum as her refuge. Johann, initially wary, offers help, and they’re drawn into each other’s worlds. Their meetings spark an unexpected series of explorations – of their own lives and the life of the city, and of the way artworks can reflect and shape daily experience.

The museum is seen in the film not as an archaic institution housing historical artifacts, but as an enigmatic crossroads in which, through the artworks, a discussion takes place across time with vital implications in the contemporary world. While the “conversations” embodied in the museum’s collection revolve around nothing less than the matters that most concern us all: death, sex, history, theology, materialism, and so on; it’s through the regular lives of the guard and displaced visitor that these heady subjects are brought entirely down to earth and made manifest.

 

Technical Information

Production Year
2012
Countries of Production
Austria, USA
Language
English
Running Time
106 mins

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