There’s something simply fascinating about being a fly on the wall. Especially when that wall belongs to a famous historic institution like the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. What is completely ordinary to those who work there, can be entirely fascinating to others. Director Johannes Holzhausen spent two years gathering material together for The Great Museum. With no interviews or music to distract, the camera follows the everyday running of the museum. This includes major refurbishment to the building, restoration work, budgetary discussions and staffing forums..
Holzhausen is given incredible access to the museum and its works. Apart from the restorations, there’s very little focus on the art itself. Instead, we get an intriguing insight into what goes on behind the closed doors. There are visits from eminent guests and the grand opening of the restored exhibition hall. He does all this with a jaunty smile, picking-up subtle humour and amusing moments. Whilst The Great Museum is not as ambitious as National Gallery, it’s still a highly entertaining and informative watch.
The Great Museum is released on DVD by Matchbox Films on February 9.