Quiet, strange and compelling, this film takes the encounter between Johann, a guard at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, and Canadian tourist Anne (singer/songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara, who also wrote the score) as the starting point for an enquiry into art history and the pleasures of looking. As important as their friendship are the Old Masters in the gallery, which the camera closely inspects. Our attention is drawn to museum minutiae: unnoticed details on a canvas, yawning schoolchildren, cigarette butts outside the entrance. As the relationship progresses, this unforced and charming film ends up cataloguing Vienna itself.


Jem Cohen

Austria 2012 107m