Museum Hours (2012)

March 26, 2017 · Regal Riviera · 9:45 A.M.

A perfect Sunday morning movie.

“When Cohen’s film is over . . . the world is not the same anymore.”–Anna Tatarska, Movie Mezzanine

“Emotion is often considered the enemy by experimental filmmakers, but Cohen’s films depend on it.”–Isabel Stevens, Sight and Sound

A mesmerizing tale of two adrift strangers who find refuge in Vienna’s grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum. Johann, a museum guard, spends his days silently observing both the art and the visitors. Anne, suddenly called to Vienna from overseas, has been wandering the city in a state of limbo. A chance meeting sparks a deepening connection that draws them through the halls of the museum and the streets of the city. The exquisitely photographed Museum Hours is an ode to the bonds of friendship, an exploration of an unseen Vienna, and the power of art to both mirror and alter our lives.

Jem Cohen on Museum Hours: “How then to make movies that don’t tell us just where to look and what to feel? How to make films that encourage viewers to make their own connections, to think strange thoughts, to be unsure of what happens next or even ‘what kind of movie this is’? How to focus equally on small details and big ideas, and to combine some of the immediacy and openness of documentary with characters and invented stories? These are the things I wanted to tangle with, using the museum as a kind of fulcrum.”

Museum Hours screened as part of our small retrospective of films by Jem Cohen at Big Ears.