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Museum Hours [Blu-ray] [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, German
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • Release Date: Dec 10 2013
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Product Description

Museum Hours [Blu-ray] [Import] [Blu-ray] [2012]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a6d19d8) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6847a4) out of 5 stars 4.5 stars... "Now I have my share of quiet" Aug. 26 2013
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Museum Hours" (2012 release; 107 min.) brings the story of Anna, a woman in Montreal who gets a call out of the blue that her cousin Janet in Vienna is in serious condition in a hospital in Vienna. Anna takes off for Vienna. Meanwhile, we get to know Johan, a guard at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna who passes his days observing the visitors and rediscovering the beautiful paintings in the museum's collection. Comments Johan: "In my young days, I was a tour manager for a band. Then I had my share of loudness. Now I have my share of quiet". When Anna arrives in Vienna, she is easily lost and by happenstance comes into the museum where she gets to know Johan. Anna and Johan strike up a friendship. To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is one of those movies where the scenery itself is a major character, and yes a star, in the movie. There are tons of beautiful shots of Vienna, but even more so, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is in the leading role for this movie. At one point, about half way into the movie, we get to know one of the curators of the Bruegel room, and we get an insight as never before on several of Bruegel's more famous paintings, including The Wedding of the Peasants and The Conversion of St. Paul. So if it wasn't clear by now: if you are not really into art (paintings, in particular) and museums, save yourself the trouble (and money), and go see another movie. Second, the performances of the lead actors Mary Margaret O'Hara in the role of Anna, and Bobby Sommer in the role of Johan, are nothing short of outstanding. In particular O'Hara brings a couple of heartbreaking scenes, when she sings a couple of songs a cappella (when the credits roll at the end, it turns out that she wrote those songs, "Never No" and "Dark, Dear Heart", herself). Last but not least, kudos to writer-director Jem Cohen for pulling off this little gem of a movie.

I saw this movie just this past weekend at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angeles, and the screening I saw this at was quite well attended for a matinee, which is great news. "Museum Hours" is about as far away as can be from Hollywood's "A Night At the Museum" franchise, and that's just fine, as there is room for everyone. That said, if you are in the mood for an extraordinary and top notch foreign movie about the everyday lives of ordinary people set in the exquisite environment that is Vienna, you cannot go wrong with this movie. "Museum Hours" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a7ce474) out of 5 stars Stunningly original cinema Oct. 13 2013
By Mr. J. L. Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this little masterpiece immediately upon its UK release early last month - 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?
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6bc288) out of 5 stars Masterful Reflection on the Relationship Between Art and Life Dec 14 2013
By Dr. Laurence Raw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Nothing much happens in MUSEUM HOURS in terms of plot: the action focuses on the experiences of a guard at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Bobby Sommer), as he observes the different types of visitor and reflects on the exhibits in the art gallery. He has a chance encounter with Anne (Mary Margaret O'Hara), a Canadian visitor who has come to see her sick relative in Vienna; and together they visit different parts of Vienna, as well as making regular visits to the hospital. Filmed on a minuscule budget. Jem Cohen's film reflects on the relationship between art and film, concentrating in particular on how (and whether) paintings by the Old Masters 'speak' to different types of viewer. Through brilliant use of visual compositions, Cohen shows how the daily rituals of Viennese life bear a strong similarity to those compositions portrayed in the paintings (for example, the work of Brueghel). This is designed to prove how the artists drew their inspiration from life, as well as their imagination. Other sequences are quasi-surrealistic - at one point we see three visitors to the museum who are naked, adopting poses very similar to those represented in the paintings. This technique emphasizes the importance of the imagination in the way we look at paintings. The relationship between art and life is reinforced by Johann's voiceover, as he reflects on the paintings, the visitors, and his reactions to both at any given moment. Beautifully shot (by Cohen and Peter Roehsler) in muted colors on a series of winter days, MUSEUM HOURS is a masterpiece of cinema, reflecting on the viewer's relationship to visual objects.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6cd228) out of 5 stars museum of life vs. the art of living April 12 2014
By Russell E. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Jem Cohen solicits Mary Margaret O'Hara to narrate, walk through the city of Vienna, the bombastic Kunsthistorisches Museum as a grand gesture of art as a process, a history of man, all whom have gone before, reintrepreted endlessly, wonderfully. Befriending a museum guard as solace to her lonely heart journey we get an insiderers peek beyond imagination. Uniquely conceived format for his second ever feature film has so much substance/sustenance to take in I can't conceive time of possible saturation. Our odd couple, drawn together by chemistry, need come from the "we are over 50 club". They frequent numerous cafes, clubs, haunts as diverse as the art collections inside, the hallows halls of the wide circle of every imigrant imaginable landed, rooted, each its own museum of particulars, peculiars, and proclivities.

A reputable film maker, our autuer has a broard range of subjects material of which we get three films ranging in length 8 to 45 minutes as bonus bucks bonanza. This may be to quiet and drab for some but if you are the art history type you will love this approach. Perhaps like my embrace it is something much more than a story of lovely, lonely lady gone to foreign shores to comfort the last days of a cousin in coma, her only real kin. Countless moments held in time of a city and museum with a endless, breath taking views. My god I love this film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a7c63f0) out of 5 stars Life mostly just happens and mostly doesn't lead to anything directly!!!! July 19 2014
By Been around this block, several times over - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The older one gets, the more one muses over the nature of life. Perhaps it is because one wants to know whether one is making best use of how little of it one gets to have, or whether one is just wasting it. For me, this movie went to the heart of this matter. It touches upon the way most of life really is-- i.e., we hang around unreflectively and simply go through it as if we have all the time in the world. We don't, of course, but living on the end of that skewer (that is, perpetual consciousness of the scarce commodity we are constantly wasting) would only drown us in a neurotically oceanic existential anxiety. So we employ defensive unawareness to get through those ever so many moments in life that just happen.

We can't make much sense of the vast majority of life's moments, any more that one can give a grand coherent singular sense to any of Brueghel's cast-of-thousands paintings of peasant scenes. Things just happen in these paintings, just as they do in so much of real everyday life. And these things tend to be only happenstancially connected to each other (often only by the fact that they happen to appear in the same picture), in life as in the paintings.

In this movie, a Canadian woman of limited means spends what must have been for her a small fortune to cross the ocean and come to see an ill cousin-- who is actually in a final and irreversible comma. Lonely and lost, she meets an equally lonely and lost man her age who happens to have for no real reason fallen into a job as a museum guard-- which for equally unexplainable reasons happens to suit him quite well (or suits him well enough to permit him the energy to be a kindly and generous individual to a stranger). They figuratively bump into each other and, as if in a rebound, seem to fall away from each other. But for some no special reason they choose to crawl back in each other's . . . slowly so as not to scare the other person or themselves. Carefully they pick themselves up to a standing position, so to speak, to where they come face to face in increasingly more personally intimate conversation.

But in a very non-Hollywood manner, there are no ulterior motives at play here. Nobody seems to be horny and on the prowl. Each responds to the other's kindness and thoughtfulness with his or her own kindness and thoughtfulness. He starts out by giving her directions to the strange city in which she is finding herself, and ends up accompanying her to where she can go to enjoy the town she is in. The town that started out as a place where she would complete chores now becomes a place she can enjoy with no agenda. Pretty soon, they are enjoying it together, in a real touristy fashion! In the process, they pierce each other's solitude and loneliness here and there, but throughout the film the retain their separateness. No grand affair ever erupts here!!! Raised on Hollywood plot lines, I kept waiting for the big moment when they would "make it" into each other's arms and life.

In the background, running like a spine to the whole story, the ill cousin that brought them together would never come out of her coma and to life despite little hints of hopefulness ("The doctor said that at least she didn't get any worse). Finally the cousin-- the supposed reason for the Canadian woman's coming to Europe-- simply dies. This is followed by a scene of what appears to be our couple enjoying each other's company in a bar one last time, and the film ends with the museum (that repository of "things"), going/continuing on and on-- even after that relationship we saw ever so slowly building up seems to be out of the picture.

I might add that the film confronts us not only with the prosaic, but with the contrast between the prosaic and the even more prosaic nature of life. That is to say, images flash between the museum and its seemingly high falutin art objects and a flea market on the street selling ever so low falutin everyday object (some seemingly just junk). One is left with a sense that either high or low falutin, life is transitory and follows (or perhaps I should say, stumble through) its own happenstancial course regardless of what noble meanings or Hollywood-like ulterior motives we might wish to ascribe to it.

If you check out some of my other reviews, you will notice that I am somewhat given to such intricate, Warburgian-type, high-culture interpretations of movies, because I believe film is fundamentally that elevated (and elevating) a degree of an art form. In its strange form of story telling, film goes to the core of our deepest fears and concerns. Its light illuminates the dark corners of the mind we might otherwise be too afraid to explore. This movie is well within this tradition, and it conveys its "sense" (as opposed to "message") of the transitory and relative meaning of things very well. It requires a practiced patience to get through it, which academic high culture training helps one acquire, but which its appreciation does not absolutely necessitate. I, too, love action movies-- having seen this movie after watching a Borne Identity film. But this movie is R-E-A-L-L-Y SOMETHING SPECIAL !!!!!!!!

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