Museum Hours

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Museum Hours
Museum Hours poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jem Cohen
Produced by Jem Cohen
Paolo Calamita
Gabriele Kranzelninder
Guy Picciotto
Patti Smith
Written by Jem Cohen
Starring Mary Margaret O'Hara
Bobby Sommer
Music by Mary Margaret O'Hara
Cinematography Jem Cohen
Peter Roehsler
Edited by Jem Cohen
Marc Vives
Gravity Hill Films
Little Magnet Films
KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production
Distributed by The Cinema Guild (US)
Soda Pictures (UK)
Release date
  • 8 August 2012 (2012-08-08) (Locarno)
  • 28 June 2013 (2013-06-28) (United States)
  • 6 September 2013 (2013-09-06) (United Kingdom)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
Country Austria
United States
Language German
Box office $554,361[2]

Museum Hours is a 2012 Austrian-American drama film written and directed by Jem Cohen. The film is set in and around Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum.


When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Museum becomes a crossroads that sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways art reflect and shape the world.

One Vienna winter, Johan, a guard at the grand Kunsthistorisches Museum encounters Anne, a visitor called to Austria for a family medical emergency. Never having been to Austria and with little money, she wanders the city in limbo, taking the museum as her refuge. Johann, initially wary, offers help, and they're drawn into each other's worlds. Their meeting sparks an unexpected series of explorations – of their own lives and the life of the city, and of the way artwork can reflect and shape daily experience. The museum is seen not as an archaic institution of historical artifacts, but as an enigmatic crossroads in which, through the art, a discussion takes place across time with vital implications in the contemporary world. The "conversations" embodied in the museum's collection revolve around the matters that most concern us: death, sex, history, theology, materialism, and so on. It's through the regular lives of the guard and displaced visitor that these heady subjects are brought down to earth and made manifest.

Near the film's end, Johann and Anne are exploring on the fringe of the city when her ill cousin's condition reaches a crisis point.



Museum Hours premiered at the 2012 Locarno International Film Festival, had its North American premiere within the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and screened within such U.S. film festivals as South by Southwest and Maryland Film Festival.

The film was acquired for U.S. distribution by The Cinema Guild.

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Award Category Result
2014 Independent Spirit Awards[3] John Cassavetes Award Nominated
2014 Independent Spirit Awards[4] Best Editing Nominated


External links[edit]