Film review: Museum Hours (12A)
Friday 06 September 2013
Hard to explain what kind of film this is, other than a deeply beguiling one. Director Jem Cohen has overlaid a civilised art-history essay with a story of random connections and the comfort of strangers. Johann (Bobby Sommer), a security guard at Vienna's grand Kunsthistorisches Museum, reflects on life and art in gentle voiceover; he once managed rock bands, now he's keen on some peace and quiet. By chance he gets talking to Anne (Mary Margaret O'Hara), a Canadian who's in Vienna to visit a cousin she hasn't seen in years, now in a coma.
"What is it about some people that makes us curious?" wonders Johann, who takes this rather stranded woman under his wing. But Cohen is less focused on their tentative friendship than on the glories of the museum, notably the roomful of Bruegel paintings, layered with its own share of mysteries. The framing and lighting of the artworks is exemplary. With a wondrously unobtrusive touch the film presents a lesson in looking, and also in the more complicated business of appreciating.
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Lady Gaga attacked by Noel Gallagher in 2013 music rant
Bob Dylan's 'going electric' guitar from Newport Folk Festival sells for nearly $1m
Doctor Who Christmas special 2013: New pictures released of Matt Smith's finale
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >