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10 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and transportative
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...
Published 7 months ago by the_associate

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality
Unfortunately this DVD does not have subtitles, apart from the odd German phrases obviously, and I found the sound quality very poor. I bought the DVD because I enjoyed the film when I saw it in the cinema and I wanted to enjoy it again. I did not find a problem with the sound there and visually the paintings shown in close detail were stunning on the big screen. A...
Published 3 months ago by Ursula Holdsworth


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and transportative, 4 Jan 2014
This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly original cinema, 26 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. J. L. Ward "John Ward" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (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 Amazon.com - 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As much meditation as film, 13 Jan 2014
This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art and life, 18 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I read a review from a portuguese critic and decided to see the movie. It's a wonderful sensitive film that teaches us to appreciate the beauty in everyday life. Highly recommendable for those who are already motivated to think about art and life, but also for those who are a little more distracted!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor sound quality, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Unfortunately this DVD does not have subtitles, apart from the odd German phrases obviously, and I found the sound quality very poor. I bought the DVD because I enjoyed the film when I saw it in the cinema and I wanted to enjoy it again. I did not find a problem with the sound there and visually the paintings shown in close detail were stunning on the big screen. A disappointment at home.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead Boring!, 21 Jun 2014
This review is from: Museum Hours (DVD)
I thought this film was comatisingly dead boring! I like museums and they are much more interesting places than this film.
It was like watching paint dry apart from the odd instructive pointers on paintings. It was such a slow, documentary type, disjointed
film. It should be called a documentary. The main storyline was just comatising. I have seen lots of films from lovefilm/amazon and
they have all great apart from this one.

I
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'd hoped it would be better than it was, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Museum Hours (DVD)
This film did disappoint me after reading some of the good reviews on here for it. I must be missing what these other reviewers could see. I was prepared that nothing much, as far as a storyline was concerned, would happen. I knew it wasn’t going to be that type of film. But if that’s the case, it has to make up for that in other ways. Perhaps make you think, or see the world in a different way. But it didn’t do this either. It just plodded on. It wasn’t a complete waste of an hour or two of my life, because seeing some of the beautiful art and artifacts at Vienna’s Kunsthistoriches Museum brought back memories of our visit a few years ago and the Brueghel lecture and attention was interesting, but I was hoping for so much more from this film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hallucinations of the Real, 8 Mar 2014
By 
Entartete Musik (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Jem Cohen's Museum Hours is a quiet film. At times it's almost silent. The 'hours' to which its title refers – as well as the days and weeks – unfold in the spacious calm of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. One of its guards narrates the advent of a friendship with a visitor from Canada. She is in Vienna to comfort an ill friend, whom she hasn't seen for years. Lonely, stranded by language and inexperience, she finds solace in the guard, the gallery and its extraordinary collection of artworks. It is within these simple parameters that Cohen unfolds a world of connections and reflections.

Midway through this hushed tribute to life in a major gallery space, a member of the Kunsthistorisches Museum's staff guides a group of visitors through its famous Brueghel room. Vienna has a particularly enviable collection of Breughels – The Massacre of the Innocents, The Procession to Calvary, The Conversion of Paul and several others. They provide a tantalisingly dramatic backdrop to what is a deliberately and impressively passive film. 'They are not sentimental, nor do they judge', says the guide, in a metacinematic moment.

She also cites Auden's poem 'Musée des Beaux Arts' and the displacement of suffering he describes, just out of view, just out of a window. Her 'speech', a consciously staged moment in a seemingly aleatoric film, makes us ponder where the heart of Cohen's drama lies, whether it is in the paintings of Vienna's KHM, in a suburban hospital or between Bobby Sommer and the Toronto-based artist and singer Mary Margaret O'Hara.

In a series of quietly touching moments, the sharing of coffee, a folk song at the invalid's bedside, Cohen summons a whole series of suggestions and places the narrative in our hands. 'One is reminded of the transience of things', it is said in the film. Yet one is also reminded of the magic, both in the extraordinary art featured on the walls of the gallery and in the cold, grey days we see unfolding in a small capital city in a landlocked republic. When the narration, which has previously accompanied images of the Breughels, the Michelangelos and the Rembrandts turns to sections of Cohen's own film, another boundary magically disappears between art and the everyday.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Museum Hours (DVD)
Its publicity gives the lie that this a bitter sweet romance. A quarter of the way through it is clear that there will be no romance, so any dramatic tension is gone, leaving a vapid hole.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo intellectual wate of time., 28 Jan 2014
By 
Boris Bakal "WR101" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I like art, I like intellectual films and Vienna is one of my favourite cities in the world. So when the reviews of ‘Museum Hours’ came out I couldn't wait to see it. What a disappointment! The film is a collection of short scenes loosely interconnected by an irrelevant story desperately pretending to convey something sophisticated with 'deep' meaning. The director is self absorbed and far too generously self indulgent. The result is a long, boring film that gives nothing in return. If the director did accomplish anything, he succeeded to portray one of the most beautiful, joyful cities in the world as drub, dirty, tired place. If this is director's real impression of Vienna, he is in dire need of anti-depressants.
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Museum Hours [DVD] [2012]
Museum Hours [DVD] [2012] by Jem Cohen (DVD - 2014)
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