KOCHI: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, an 89-minute-long biography-cum- documentary made in 2016, is a tribute to the Booker Prize-winning english novelist, painter and poet who passed away on January 2, this year. The documentary, which was screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, is a collection of four short films.
Each, an individual work of art, the feature film goes through different aspects of the novelist’s life. Seasons in Quincy starts with is first film ‘Ways of Listening’ by Colin MacCabe where actor and filmmaker Tilda Swinton assumes a major role. Tilda is seen recollecting the feelings of empathy and friendship she shares with Berger.
Proceeding mostly as a dialogue, ‘Ways of Listening’ is about friendship, family and of people whose earlier generations have been part of war and the experiences.
Perhaps, the most tastefully done film among the series is ‘Spring’ by Christopher Roth. Focusing on John Berger’s fascination with animals and the humans’ relationship with them. With pieces from the writer’s own earlier works, ‘Spring’ goes through his feelings and opinions, on life and what it means to animals as well as human beings.
Combining pieces from his older works, we see directors Colin MacCabe and Bartek Dziadosz reflect on John Berger’s ideas of politics in the next piece titled ‘Song of Politics’.
The documentary ends with ‘Harvest’ by Tilda Swinton. ‘Harvest’ threads upon the feeling of belonging. The direction has been done by Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Bartek Dziadosz and actor Tilda Swinton while the screenplay has been handled by Swinton.
The film combines ideas and motifs from Berger’s own work and television clips, blending it with the atmosphere of his mountain home at Quincy in France. ‘Seasons in Quincy-Four Portraits of John Berger’ is a fitting tribute as well as a brief study of the veteran. The film has been screened in many film festivals, including the 66th Berlin Film Festival.
A series of films
Seasons in Quincy starts with is first film Ways of Listening. Spring focuses on John Berger’s fascination with animals and the humans’ relationship with them. The next piece is titled Song of Politics. The documentary ends with Harvest.