A sensitive museum guard, whose musings we hear in voice-over, and a displaced Canadian woman holding vigil over a distant relative who’s fallen ill, meet at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and strike up an unexpectedly poignant friendship. Cohen’s film, a meditation on art, connection, and daily life in the city, fluidly mixes fiction and non-fiction, scripted and improvisational scenes, into a narrative collage reminiscent of the writing of W.G. Sebald. The film’s title hints at the temporal and spatial divisions of urban life—between leisure and work, inside and outside, private and public—while also suggesting a state of mind contrary to the bustle of urban life.
This screening will be introduced by Jem Cohen, director, and Paul Dallas, Cinematic Sites organizer. The introduction will begin at 2:45 pm.
Directed by Jem Cohen, 2012
Language: German and English
Runtime: 107 minutes
Part of the urban film series Cinematic Sites, selected by Paul Dallas and presented in conjunction with Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab.
About the Director
New York–based filmmaker Jem Cohen’s films explore the collision between documentary, narrative, and the experimental. His feature-length films include Chain, Benjamin Smoke, and Evening’s Civil Twilight in Empires of Tin, and the shorts “Lost Book Found,” “Amber City,” “Little Flags,” and “Anne Truitt – Working.” Cohen’s work has been the subject of retrospectives worldwide. His films are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, and have been broadcasted by PBS, Arte, and the Sundance Channel. He has collaborated with musicians such as Patti Smith and R.E.M. His feature-length documentary made with the band Fugazi, Instrument, was chosen for the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Cohen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Alpert Award in the Arts, among other honors.