94 minutes, Austria, 2014, Colour, Subtitles, D-Cinema

Johannes Holzhausen’s enthralling film looks behind the scenes of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, providing great insight into the sometimes problematic relationship between art and commerce. Holzhausen and his crew spent two years filming at the venerable institution, bearing witness to the painstaking preservation activity, the intense research and the care taken in presenting historic work of significance, while the chatter of marketing meetings, anxiety of budget planning and preparations for the visit of a politician are noted distractions.

Allowing a focus on every cog in the working machine of the museum, from cleaners and picture hangers to its managing director and lofty art historians, while eschewing commentary, interviews or background music, The Great Museum is documentary filmmaking in its purest form, though that still allows for moments of wry humour, beautiful observations and a disarming charm. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)

Don’t forget we now schedule weekly.

★★★★ Irish Independent

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