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Johann works as an attendant at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Art Museum, content to spend his days surrounded by the precious paintings and artefacts displayed there, adopting an amiable attitude towards his colleagues while recognising he has little in common with them. He meets Anne, an enigmatic Canadian woman visiting an unfamiliar city where her cousin is ill in hospital, and the two bond. Johann acts as Anne’s guide to Vienna, relishing the opportunity to share his knowledge of its art and architecture, acknowledging he is rediscovering the place himself.
The latest film from renowned documentarian and film-essayist Jem Cohen (Benjamin Smoke, Chain), Museum Hours is a charming rumination on art and observation, featuring striking images that appear to have been captured casually and with engaging, perfectly pitched performances from Bobby Sommer and Mary Margaret O’Hara as characters meeting at a crossroads in their lives. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)