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The Seasons in Quincy2016

Four Portraits of John Berger

  • 4.4
Prolific 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. In the film's opening chapter, "Ways of Listening," Berger's longtime friend and collaborator Tilda Swinton, joins him for a frank and revealing conversation. Berger's seminal writing on animals is the focus of "Spring," a cinematic portrait illuminated by local farming practice and set alongside other philosophical approaches to animal consciousness. The film's third act, "A Song for Politics" finds 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. In "Harvest," the final chapter of The Seasons in Quincy, 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 by Simon Fisher Turner, The Seasons in Quincy is an intimate and multi-faceted cinematic portrait of one of the 21st-century's great philosopher-artists.

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2 members like this review

Absolutely magical. What precious moments to not only have experienced, but to have captured. Thank you.

Member Reviews (3)

Absolutely magical. What precious moments to not only have experienced, but to have captured. Thank you.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Hard to imagine a better example of empty intellectualism. I love Tilda, but there couldn't be anything more haughty than important people having an important discussion about important things in front of a camera. THe "politics" is the politics of those that reap the rewards of that which they criticize. And Ben Lerner? Could there be a more zeitgeisty (read flittingly contemporary) example of non-thought masquerading as philosophy. Pitiful

1 member likes this review

Just curious...have you ever read any Berger? And, also, are you an intellectual? Me, I'm not. (So maybe I don't understand the profound depths of "intellectualism" as well as you do.)

A moving tribute to John Berger, one of the great writers and thinkers of the 20th century. Tilda Swinton recognizes his importance, in addition to loving Berger the person, as well as cherishing their deep friendship. Berger describes himself as a "radical humanist." He knows the world, its history, its literature, its art, its politics and yet he has the insight for finding those most relevant matters, evidence and examples (at the micro-levels) of language, nature, psychology and personal witness, the visceral and, even, the animal. In a way, Berger was a seeker of those frontiers which continue to slip from our grasp, both physically and metaphorically. As he describes himself: he is a story-teller, "a parser," one who manages to get "contraband across a frontier."