Museum Hours

So, where did I leave off? The road trip to Memphis for the show at The Brooks Museum was a long ordeal that started by picking up band members in New York, stopping off in Louisville for sleep and ending with performing two live Gravity shows in Memphis Tennessee! First I'll start with New York! As I talked about before: Jem Cohen is one of the most important independent filmmakers working out there today.  Jem manages to combine an otherwordly artistic vision and ability with a sincere anthropological/historical/documentarian agenda that is so unique and important I don't even know how to begin. When we returned home from our recent travels to a message from Jem (who, if you'll remember even shot a few frames of Gravity- a blurry, unused frame or two posted here!) we returned his call and decided to see him on our way to Memphis through New York. Jem even let Brent and I watch the beginnings of his latest filmic venture Museum Hours.

This film is unlike any film either of us had seen before leaving us speechless and electric from seeing the birth of a new cinematic form. The loose framework revolves around the meeting of a Canadian woman who travels to Austria while visiting her sick cousin and an art museum guard who ponders life as he ages, watching over centuries of other beautiful lives. Everything about the film is a new experience dealing with pasts, presents and futures in image, narrative and philosophies- I don't want to say too much more since it is a work in progress but this film seems like it is a true embodiment of a new independent cinema that I have been desperately looking for (no pressure Jem!) combining such a strong artistic vision and a strong, yet hopeful, voiced skepticism on the current state of the world. I cannot wait for this film to be completed and it is a shame that it is still a struggle for auteurs across the city to receive the overwhelming support they deserve in their creative pursuits (collective sigh for New York City). Which reminds me, Jem's essay The Double Anchor is a great read about the social and artistic responsibility of cultural consumers and producers, an issue that everyone should be a bit more concerned about. I don't know how to end this post other than anxiously await Jem's completed film and invite you to join me in doing so! Can not wait! (Film stills from Museum Hours updated August, 2011)



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.