The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

The legacy of a storyteller

by Ellen Wang 20th April 2020

In March 2020, right before its temporary closure due to London’s lockdown, the British Film Institute (BFI) held its Tilda Swinton film season after Swinton was awarded a BFI Fellowship, the highest accolade by the Institute to individuals in ‘recognition of their contribution to film or television culture.’ Out of the thirteen feature films and five short films shown, from Swinton’s early collaboration with Derek Jarman Caravaggio (1986) to Snowpiercer (2013) directed by the recent Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho, one documentary series, co-produced by Swinton and the Derek Jarman Lab, stood out to me. This series is The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger (2016), a project composed of four short essay films on the writer, art critic, and storyteller, John Berger. The films show a less recognized side of Swinton as a filmmaker, a producer, and a friend of an exemplary intellect. 

Illustration by Ellen Wang