Museum Hours –– US Jem Cohen 2013 1hr 46 min April 18, 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 6:15pm.
Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, 660 Lombard St.
A woman (Mary Margaret O’Hara) visiting Vienna to spend time with a dying cousin, a close childhood companion, is befriended by a museum guard (Bobby Sommer) when she asks him how best to get around Vienna. A former rock band manager, the guard, who says he is gay, and the American woman become friends, visiting parks, beer halls, and cafes. They also spend important time intensely looking at the museum’s paintings by Rembrandt, Bruegel and other European masters. We, of course, look with them, and because Cohen gives us the silence and time to do so, we also ponder the tales they might tell. The guard, in amused voice over, comments on how different groups of museum visitors––from grade-school kids to elders––respond to the paintings that have become so familiar to him.
But Cohen, knowing that there is beauty and complexity outside the doors of the museum, where the art is viewed in quiet luxury, also shows us Vienna’s ordinary streets and the life goes on there. He does not separate the painted life in the museum from what is outside, presenting them to us as different aspects of a whole. In much the same way, Cohen slowly, meditatively, lets us enjoy the growth of friendship between two strangers from different countries and very different life experiences. It is a growth nourished by what the museum’s remarkable works say to them about the life they depict and about their own lives.
Voice described as a combination of “pop art and impressionism.” Shot in wide screen Cinemascope by Raul Coutard, it is the last of Godard’s more or less traditional films before he dove deep into exploring what cinema is and how it affects us. The basic story is about Ferdinand, (Jean-Paul Belmondo) a man unhappy in his marriage and his life in Paris who runs off with the babysitter, Marianne (Anna Karina), an old flame who is now the moll of a group of crooks. To keep things flying along, as the romantic couple heads for the sunny south of France, the crooks are hot on their tail.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org 415-888-2868.