Skip to main content


Austria / USA, 2012 (MIFF 2013, International Panorama)

Director: Jem Cohen

"Effectively applies Cohen's existing strengths to a familiar scenario and rejuvenates it by delivering a powerfully contemplative look at the transformative ability of all art." - Indiewire

Celebrated writer/director Jem Cohen (Chain, MIFF 2005) sets his first fiction feature in Vienna's grand Kunsthistoriches Art Museum, where the extraordinary collection of Brueghels, Rembrandts and Rubens starts a friendship between Anne (influential singer/artist Mary Margaret O'Hara), an enigmatic foreigner in town waiting for her comatose cousin to wake, and museum guard Johann.

The pair's charming interactions, firstly over art and then out and about in the wintry streets of the city, are composed with a painterly eye. Full of detail and quietly intense, Museum Hours rewards on many levels: in its depiction of an unexpected relationship; as a portrait of Vienna; as a thoughtful observation on art and the act of viewing, and on the interplay between art history and personal experience.

"With its picturesque reframing of what we consider art, and its re-contextualizing of time-honored masterpieces, Museum Hours accomplished what every film - and film festival - should: Send audiences out of their cinematic bubble with fresh eyes and invigorated ways of seeing the world around them." - Washington Post

D/S Jem Cohen P Paolo Calamita, Jem Cohen, Gabriele Kranzelbinder WS KGP L English, German w/English subtitles TD DCP/2012

See also...


"Modern civilisation is shown as a bleakly homogenous super landscape in the ambitious [Chain], which links narrative fiction filmmaking to the avant-garde with vision and authority... the cumulative ... More »

This is a History of New York (The Golden Dark Age of Reason)

A "history" of New York City from Prehistoric Times through the Space Age, illustrated entirely with documentary street footage. ... The filmmaker made a wide-ranging study of radically different ... More »

Smells Like Teen Spirit

A domestic portrait of Patti Smith and her son, Jackson. Invoking urban New York and rural America, it's about picking up guitars and doing dirty dishes. ... More »

Just Hold Still

Essentially a compilation work made up of numerous short pieces, described by Cohen as: Where Documentary Collides. Music Video As Independent Film. Birds As Punctuation ... The project compiles ... More »

Amber City

Cohen's beautifully composed documentary, Amber City, is dedicated to writer Primo Levi. It was shot in countless locations across an unknown city in Italy with a soundtrack by musicians including ... More »

Patti Smith: Long for the City

Patti Smith and her poetry wind their way through the streets of New York City, as she voices her thoughts on her neighbourhood and her life. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director