An adoring portrait of the deep-thinking storyteller and art critic John Berger, this unusual documentary is not really a documentary at all. Instead it ventures into uncharted docu-territory, wallowing in the essence of Berger as he is captured on film by four separate directors.
It is, perhaps, Tilda Swinton’s adoration of this man – they class themselves as twins, sharing the same birthday 34 years apart – that drives this conversation piece. He glories in words; she glories in him. It is a love affair but one built of talk, of language and of ideas and the mind.
A (deliberately) fractured piece that is at times gleefully incoherent, this quartet of vignettes/film essays drops in Berger’s own poems, references to Derrida and Heidegger, faraway memories of the Great War and politics. It is all an indicator to Berger’s intellectual landscape but the content works best when the man himself is sounding forth. A “kaleidobiopic”, Seasons in Quincy is a filmic tapestry.
The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger is now available from Curzon Artificial Eye.
1. Still from The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger.