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The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger
With Tilda Swinton
Directed by Bartek Dziadosz, Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth & Tilda Swinton
A Derek Jarman Lab Production
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film still

film stillProlific artist, philosopher, writer, storyteller and "radical humanist" John Berger is the focus of this vivid four-part cinematic portrait. In 1973, he moved from urban London to the tiny Alpine village of Quincy. THE SEASONS IN QUINCY: FOUR PORTRAITS OF JOHN BERGER examines different aspects of Berger's life in this remote village in the Alps. In four seasonal chapters, the film combines ideas and motifs from his work with the texture and history of his mountain home.

"Ways of Listening" (Directed by Colin MacCabe, 26 minutes)
Tilda Swinton, a longtime friend and collaborator, joins Berger for a frank and revealing conversation.

"Spring" (Directed by Christopher Roth, 19 minutes)
Berger's seminal writing on animals is illuminated by local farming practice and set alongside other philosophical approaches to animal consciousness. Directed by Christopher Roth.

"A Song for Politics" (Directed by Bartek Dziadosz and Colin MacCabe, 20 minutes)
Berger is joined by writers Ben Lerner and Akshi Singh along with Colin MacCabe and Christopher Roth for a lively political discussion of our present moment and its relationship to the past.

"Harvest" (Directed by Tilda Swinton, 25 minutes)
Berger's son and Swinton's children join their parents for a visually rich journey to Quincy from the Scottish highlands, seeing the countryside anew.

United by their central vision and an original score by Simon Fisher Turner, the four short works that comprise THE SEASONS IN QUINCY beautifully combine to make a feature film.

"An impressively high-minded documentary about writer John Berger ... As a collection, THE SEASONS OF QUINCY is an absolutely inspired way of approaching its subject."The Guardian

"Critic's Pick! Delightful viewing... Swinton is magnetic! Their interactions light up the film."The New York Times

"Intimate and revealing: a portrait of its subject in which we get closer to him as a personality than a more conventional film could ever take us."The Independent

"Instructs us that conversation, whether spoken or sung, is always liberating."Slant

"A beautiful yet uncommon approach to a subject—one that is happily out of step with the frenetic, info-tech lifestyles we've adopted. But more importantly, the film is a reflection on creation as a metaphor for human existence."The Observer

"One of the most moving moments of the [Berlinale Film] Festival."Cinemag

World Premiere, 2016 Berlin International Film Festival
2016 Istanbul Independent Film Festival
2016 Seattle Film Festival
2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest
2016 Biografîa Film Festival
2016 Jerusalem Film Festival
2016 Art Film Festival
2016 Maine Film Festival
2016 Melbourne Film Festival
2016 EDF Documentary Film Festival
2016 Athens Film Festival
2016 Message to Man Film Festival
2016 Viennale
2017 RIDM Montreal Documentary Film Festival

90 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2015
DVD Sale: $29.98

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Art, Biographies, Cinema Studies, Closed Captioned, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Europe, Literature, Media Studies, Philosophy, Western Europe

Related Links:
List of artwork and copyrighted material

Related Titles:
Dreams Rewired: Tilda Swinton's narration and a treasure trove of rare archival footage trace the origins of today's hyper-connected world.

The Spectre of Hope: Critic and writer John Berger and photographer Sebastião Salgado lead this searing examination of imagery and images, the abyss, hope, and globalization.

The Invisible Frame: A filmic journey starring Tilda Swinton as she traces the former Berlin Wall via bicycle.

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Last Updated January 31, 2017
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