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Museum Hours [DVD] [2012]

16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mary Margaret O'Hara, Bobby Sommer, Ela Piplits
  • Directors: Jem Cohen
  • Producers: Jem Cohen, Paolo Calamita, Gabriele Kranzelbinder
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Soda Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Jan. 2014
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,450 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Jem Cohen writes and directs this reflective drama about a developing friendship between two strangers. Once a road manager for hard-rock bands, 60-something Austrian Johan (Bobby Sommer) now spends his days working as a security guard at a Viennese art gallery. One day, while quietly pondering the paintings and the endless streams of tourists, he meets Anne (Mary Margaret O'Hara), a Canadian who has arrived in Vienna to visit a relative who is in a coma at a local hospital. After offering his services as an interpreter for her dealings with the hospital authorities, Johan soon becomes Anne's guide to the city at large. As the pair traverse the city, stopping off at bars and cafes along the way, a deepening relationship begins to build between them as they share their thoughts on art and life.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By the_associate on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
This review contains a spoiler.

I started 'Museum Hours' pretty unengaged and finished it in tears without really understanding how I can moved from point A to B. For a conventional narrative film, it has some pretty strange, associative editing. The film captures authentically awkward/ human performances by Mary Margaret O'Hara and Bobby Sommer, which slowly win you over just through decency alone, rather than any particular magnetism or charm. You get to see the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum intimately, from different viewpoints and are privileged to experience a very engaging lecture on Brueghel. I found it life-infused and infusing. If you like museums and quiet contemplation, then I'd sincerely recommend this film.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. L. Ward on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
I saw this little masterpiece immediately upon its UK release in early September - at an exceptionally well attended matinee screening at the Cornerhouse, Manchester. As the previous reviewers have stated, the film dwells a great deal on some of the paintings housed at the Museum of Art History in Vienna...especially those of Peter Breugel the Elder. Immediately we are bewitched by their sense of mystery - and all the possible meanings that the passage of the intervening centuries has hidden from us. But we are also taken on a voyage of exploration - through the magnificent gallery, through the bleak but beautiful winter cityscape and through the layers of Vienna's own fascinating history. The chance meeting that leads to a touching friendship between the room guide and the visitor provides us with further insights into the very things that must have preoccupied those early painters - the joy of living, mortality and the transience of things.

I saw this movie on the Saturday. On the Monday I was on the plane to Vienna - and by the Tuesday morning I was experiencing the Museum of Art History for myself. Can any film have a higher recommendation than that?

Since seeing this film at the movies I have purchased the American Blu Ray edition (released by Cinema Guild) from - the good news is that it is region free - and of course you get to see those paintings in high definition.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JOSEPH OLIVER on 13 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
It's a strange film. No doubt about that. It is the intertwining of the relationship (platonic) between a Canadian who has to come to Vienna because she was called by the staff at a hospital. Her cousin is in a coma and she is the only living relative. She has to borrow the money to get there and has no choice but to live within her limited means while in the city - which is one of the most expensive in Europe. To get by, and fill in the time between hospital visits she looks for cheap or free places to see - and the art museum is high on the list. She becomes a regular visitor. While there she asks one of the 'invisible' supervisors we see from the corner of our eyes when we visit art galleries for some directions and advice. Standing rather than sitting they blend in with the background to check nothing untoward happens to the paintings.

They get on well and he shows her around the city and in doing so rediscovers it himself. If you are looking for the touristy parts then forget it. Underpinning all the sights shown in the film is the connection with the paintings of Bruegel. You many never have heard of him but you will be familiar with his work. He was the link between medieval and renaissance painting.He showed 16th century living in very clear detail - warts and all. The topics painted by him are given parallels in the modern world and we are surprised at how ordinary they really are despite the fact that we would marvel at them in the paintings.

The last 15 minutes or so really brings home these parallels and gives a voice-over of a contemporary scene as though a painting being described some time in the future. It might make you see paintings in a whole new light. It is a slow burner and you do have to stick with it but it is worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By technoguy VINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD
Museum Hours is a film documentary with a fictive narrative set in Vienna,the city and the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum.Johann(Bobby Sommer) a guard,encounters Anne(Mary Margeret O'Hara),a foreign visitor called to Austria because of the poor health of a cousin,who is in hospital with a coma.These two characters,are loosely based on their real lives,one a singer getting some work in Canada through the support of friends,the other having been a manager in the punk music business.The film just hangs together on the fragile narrative,as Anne asks for help finding the hospital from the museum guard,she doesn't speak German,and he also shows her around Vienna to parts he hasn't seen in a long time,the less touristy parts.They strike up a friendship useful to them both.He is gay but his lover has deceased,she is lonely,poor and a long way from home.They cheer each other up and keep each other amused. He gives her a free pass to the Museum,so she can come whenever she wants and look at the art works,from the Egyptians,Greeks and Romans,via Cranach and Breughel up to the Dutch and Renaisance painters.They both go to the hospital.

The film is shot on 16 mm and digital(interiors) and has a palette of dark hues and autumnal and winter tones.I found the film hard to get into at 1st,having to watch it at least 3 times to let it grow on me.What I found difficult is that the film has no real action,drama or plot elements to hook you or draw you in.There are many darkened scenes hard to make out and the sound is poor,the articulation fuzzy.When characters speak their faces are often in the dark or they're shot from the side so you can't even see their lips or faces.There is little animation(they being strangers to each other),yet they are just plausible enough to believe in.
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