When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.
In the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, Johann is a security guard who finds a special quiet magic at the institution. One day, a Canadian woman arrives on a compassionate visit to the city, and the two strike up a friendship through their appreciation of art. That relationship helps put all the other goings on at the museum and in the city in perspective as Johann observes and participates in them in a world where art can say so much more than a casual visitor might know. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
I left the theater in a sort of observational trance, and vowed to get to the Metropolitan Museum ASAP and back to Vienna as soon as I can.
I'll admit I'm kind of like the characters in the film. If you are a 13 year old boy whose favorite movie is The Transformers this might not be for you. Then again, you might learn something. There isn't much plot and there isn't much conflict but it isn't about plot or conflict. It's about art and life and to me it wasn't irritatingly slow at all and I wouldn't have cut a second. The pace and observational tone of the film are necessary to what it's about.
The two nonactor main character actors do a wonderful job. They aren't called on to do a lot off complex stuff, and maybe they wouldn't cut it as Martha and George, but they are perfect here.
The film has a lot to say about art and life, without being in any way didactic. The only part that I had the least impatience with was the scene with the somewhat annoying curator lecturing a group, although it did serve its purpose of making some points about the art while revealing a bit about the observers of art as well. There is also one scene that stands out in its sudden deviation from the flat observational realism of the rest of the film into a bit of symbolic surrealism but it's not without meaning either.
Most of the film is about quiet introspective moments. One scene that isn't is of Johann and Anne joining in with patrons at the bar drinking and dancing to ethnic music on Immigrant Night. (Really, I think that's what they called it). Later, thinking about Breugel's Peasant Wedding...
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