Museum Hours

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Times:

Where:

  • The Tower Theatre
    815 E Olive Ave.
    Fresno, CA 93728

Synopsis

Filmworks presents the Austrian drama that Indiewire calls a “contemplative look at the transformative ability of all art.” Directed by innovative urban filmmaker Jem Cohen, the movie takes an introspective look at two adrift strangers who find refuge in each other at Vienna’s famed Kunsthistorisches Art Museum. Johann, a museum guard, spends his days silently observing both the art and the visitors. Anne, suddenly called to see an ailing relative, has been wandering the city in a daze. A chance meeting sparks a deepening connection that draws the pair through the halls of the museum – featuring 16th Century Flemish Renaissance portraits and landscapes by painter Pieter Brueghel – and out into the streets together. The exquisitely photographed film invites viewers to meditate on the richness of friendship, explore an unseen Vienna, and reflect on the power of art to shape human experience. Starring Mary Margaret O’Hara and Bobby Sommer. In German and English, with English subtitles.

Director: Jem Cohen
Austria/USA (2012) • 107 minutes • Not Rated

Discussion Circle
After the 5:30 show, join Fresno State professor Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn to talk about the film. Dr. Kuhn, who is a Professor of French, grew up in Brussels, Belgium as a German-speaking Swiss in a French-speaking school environment. She received her B.A. and M.A. in German and Dutch from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Catholic University of Louvain) in Belgium. She also obtained her M.A. in French and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kuhn is quite familiar with Flemish and Dutch paintings, especially the Breughel dynasty. Among other European locations, she has spent time in Vienna and has visited many museums there, including the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum where some of the film’s action takes place. Discussion moderated by Filmworks board member Mary Husain.

Screening Sponsor:
Fresno Art Museum
FresnoArtMuseum-500pxThe Fresno Art Museum offers a dynamic experience for appreciating art. The museum welcomes, inspires, and educates a diverse regional audience through significant exhibitions, thought-provoking programs, and meaningful interactions with artists and the creative process. Current exhibitions include: a collection of photographs of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, a conceptual project and interactive matching experiment, a collection of Monterey County realist paintings, and more.


Filmworks thanks K-Jewel 99.3 FM, The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, and Stella Artois for their support.

Reviews

"The film shows how quiet exteriors can mask deep interior lives, and how art feeds those lives. The view of art is richly intellectual, sometimes enthralling. But I confess, I liked “Museum Hours” best for answering a question I’ve always had: What is that guard thinking?" — Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"The notion of a Bruegel-like democratic perspective carries over to the way the film itself is shot. The camera drifts from the subjects to other images: an old man’s innocent gaze, a watchful, pink-faced baby, birds poised on bare tree branches, the trash from a flea market on the sidewalk, all of which are echoed in paintings in the museum." — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail
"These observed street vignettes and fine art juxtapositions are inspired, as is Sommer’s performance as the kindly, world-weary guard, but if that weren’t enough, it’s worth it just for the scene of O’Hara singing quietly to herself as the last of the daylight slowly leaks out of the frame of a hospital room window." — Nathalie Atkinson, National Post
"The film shows how quiet exteriors can mask deep interior lives, and how art feeds those lives. The view of art is richly intellectual, sometimes enthralling. But I confess, I liked “Museum Hours” best for answering a question I’ve always had: What is that guard thinking?" — Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"The notion of a Bruegel-like democratic perspective carries over to the way the film itself is shot. The camera drifts from the subjects to other images: an old man’s innocent gaze, a watchful, pink-faced baby, birds poised on bare tree branches, the trash from a flea market on the sidewalk, all of which are echoed in paintings in the museum." — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail
"These observed street vignettes and fine art juxtapositions are inspired, as is Sommer’s performance as the kindly, world-weary guard, but if that weren’t enough, it’s worth it just for the scene of O’Hara singing quietly to herself as the last of the daylight slowly leaks out of the frame of a hospital room window." — Nathalie Atkinson, National Post

Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.