Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Berlinale Special

The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

 

Tilda Swinton reading out a self portrait by John Berger.

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British writer, painter and art critic John Berger has for decades lived a secluded life in the French Alps. He does however have visitors, friends who are kindred spirits: artists from different fields who share his broad-minded outlook, such as actor Tilda Swinton, director Christopher Roth, musician Simon Fisher Turner and fellow-writer Colin MacCabe. Each of their encounters is framed by one of the eponymous four seasons, and with each new visitor, the visual style changes. The conversation is sometimes simple, sometimes of a philosophical nature; at other times they merely sit together in silence. But it is an eloquent silence where the thoughts that have just been exchanged continue to hang in the air and can be contemplated further – also by the viewer. Naturally, there are also political stances, for John Berger is not just a man of words: in 1972, for example, he donated half the money he received for the Booker Prize to the Black Panther movement. The rugged, mountainous landscape and its inhabitants provide a charming backdrop to the discourse; it is a landscape that has increasingly found its way into Berger’s work in recent years.

United Kingdom 2015, 89 min

by

Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Tilda Swinton, Bartek Dziadosz