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The Seasons in Quincy – new film from Birkbeck's Derek Jarman Lab

The essay film will be screened at the National Portrait Gallery on 14 October

On 14 October 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery, there will be a special screening of The Seasons in Quincy, a portrait of the intellectual and storyteller John Berger. The four short films were produced by Birkbeck’s Derek Jarman lab, in collaboration with actress Tilda Swinton, producer Colin MacCabe and composer Simon Fisher Turner.

Each of the four essay films which comprise The Seasons in Quincy take a different aspect of Berger’s life in Quincy, Haute-Savoie, where he has lived since 1973, bearing witness to the gradual disappearance of subsistence farming as a way of life. The four films were made individually, and without reference to one another, but also work together as a feature-length documentary.

Tilda Swinton, Colin MacCabe and John Berger had worked together in the late 1980s and maintained a strong friendship over the years. It was Swinton’s idea to make The Seasons in Quincy after working with MacCabe on a film about Derek Jarman.

Colin MacCabe, an emeritus professor at Birkbeck and founder and Chair of the Derek Jarman Lab, says: “When Tilda and I started making these portraits of John in 2009, I was a great admirer of his work. As I have re-read and read and talked and talked over more than five years making these four films, my estimation has grown for John both as a man and as a thinker and storyteller. I hope these films, these four portraits, will make clear not only why so many look to Berger as a contemporary intellectual but also why so many love him so much.”

 Watch The Seasons in Quincy trailer:

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