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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

THE SEASONS IN QUINCY: FOUR PORTRAITS OF JOHN BERGER

12:45   2:45   5:00   7:10   9:20

Through Tuesday, September 13

DIRECTED BY COLIN MACCABE, CHRISTOPHER ROTH, BARTEK DZIADOSZ, AND TILDA SWINTON

John Berger calls himself “a storyteller” and longtime friend Tilda Swinton calls him “a radical humanist.” The soft-spoken Berger is, in fact, a brilliant polymath: a painter, art critic/historian (The Success and Failure of Picasso), Booker Prize-winning novelist (G), BBC television host (Ways of Seeing), screenwriter (LA SALAMANDRE), essayist (A SEVENTH MAN), poet, Marxist, philosopher, and self-styled peasant. These four ruminative essays – produced by London’s Derek Jarman Lab – are set in the French Alps where Berger has lived for several decades.  As Swinton peels apples and Berger draws her portrait, they consider the effect of their fathers’ war experiences on their childhoods. The film is punctuated with excerpts from Berger’s television appearances -- but it is this seemingly casual talk in and around his rustic kitchen that allows us to be guests in his home and on intimate terms with his intellect.

UK / USA • 2015 • 90 MINS. • ICARUS FILMS

Reviews

“Critic’s Pick. The novelist, art critic, art historian, painter and poet John Berger...is so much a Renaissance man that calling him one almost seems like damning him with faint praise.  (He) is a terrific presence...THE SEASONS IN QUINCY is an essential document of an exemplary intellect, one who has as much to impart to the 21st century as he did to the 20th.”
– Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“(Berger’s) seminar 1972 television series Ways of Seeing - now a standard art history text around the world - more or less invented cultural studies… He is famous for being a gracious host and inspiring presence - something like a sane D.H. Lawrence. Delightful viewing… at once an homage to and intimate portrait of the artist...(revealing) much about a man, who by blending a mastery of literature and art with an intimate understanding of peasant life, has created a body of work like nothing else in contemporary letters. Swinton is magnetic.Their interactions light up the film (with a) relationship that is bracingly two-sided and intimate.”
– Ratik Asokan, BOMB online

“A cozy affair. Scenes in Quincy are warm, vibrant, and Jarmanesque... Through subtle details - his gestures, his glances, and even his phrasings - you can glean something here about Berger the man,  things you never knew about the depths of his intelligence. It’s more than any orthodox documentary could convey.”
– Lauren O’Neill-Butler, ARTFORUM online