Hope in the Present: John Berger Remembered with Mike Dibb, Toby Jones and Anne Michaels


Britten Studio

07/10/2017 15:00 - 16:00

Past Event

One of the world’s most important writers, John Berger died in January this year. His close friends and collaborators, film-maker Mike Dibb (‘Ways of Seeing’) and poet Anne Michaels remember a remarkable person; with readings by celebrated actor Toby Jones.

Meet the Speakers:

Mike Dibb on John Berger I still have all the versions of the four scripts for Ways of Seeing. Looking at them now, after 45 years, I’m struck and moved by two things. The first is how much John wrote and rewrote – either at home in Geneva or in a back room of his parents’ flat in London – right up to the moment of filming, and then further modified during the edit, when something wasn’t quite right or we thought of a better idea. The second is John’s beautifully fluid and legible handwriting, which is very revealing about the way he thought – tentative and exploratory, never dogmatic, just trying to get something clear in his mind. He always used a fountain pen, with black ink, and the pages are full of crossings out, with single words added or sentences rephrased and stuck on with Sellotape.

Mike  Dibb  is  an  award-winning English documentary  filmmaker.  In  almost  half  a  century  of making films mainly  for  television - on  subjects  including  cinema,  literature,  art,  jazz,  sport and popular  culture –"he  has  defined  and  re-defined  not  only  the  televisual  art  documentary  genre but has been able to make moving image pieces as a formof self portraiture". Dibb has made many acclaimed films, including on Federico García Lorca, C. L. R. James, Astor Piazzolla, Miles Davis, Keith  Jarrett, Barbara  Thompson, and  other  notable  subjects.  In  the  words  of  Sukhdev Sandhu  in The  Guardian:  "In  a  career  spanning  almost  five  decades,  it's  possible  Dibb  has shaped  more  ideas  and  offered  more  ways  of  seeing  than any  other  TV  documentarian  of  his generation.

Anne Michaels was born in Toronto in 1958. She was educated at Toronto University where she continues to teach as an adjunct professor of creative writing. Her first volume of poems, The Weight of Oranges, was published to great acclaim in 1986 when it won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas. Fugitive Pieces, her first novel, has been published in over thirty countries and has won many international awards, including both the Orange Prize and the Guardian Fiction Award when it was published in 1997. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/author/anne-michaels/#sthash.iYJESnN0.dpuf

All We Saw: In this passionate, piercing collection, Anne Michaels explores one of her essential concerns: 'what love makes us capable of, and incapable of'. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/all-we-saw-9781408880920/#sthash.cYbEoMtI.dpuf

"Anne Michaels guides us to the top of some extraordinary peaks of feeling and perception” –  Independent - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/all-we-saw-9781408880920/#sthash.JIEAfkSf.dpuf

"Michaels is a great poet of loss, and the challenges of memory in the face of it ... Michaels produces passages of lyrical beauty” –  Guardian - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/all-we-saw-9781408880920/#sthash.JIEAfkSf.dpuf

Toby Jones 

Multi-award winning Toby Jones is one of the most distinguished film, television and stage actors of his generation. He studied Drama at the University of Manchester from 1986 to 1989, and at L'École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris under Jacques Lecoq in Paris from 1989 to 1991.

Most recently Toby wrapped filming JOURNEY’S END, Saul Dibb’s version the seminal British play about WW1. The film also stars Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham and Tom Sturridge.

Upcoming films also include: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY’s director Tomas Alfredson new thriller THE SNOWMAN, KALEIDOSCOPE; a psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a middle-aged man and his mother written and directed by Rupert Jones; JURASSIC WORLD 2; and Michael Haneke’s new feature HAPPY END, which premiered in the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

For TV, Toby recently starred in THE SECRET AGENT, a three-part drama for BBC1, adapted from Joseph Conrad’s novel and in CAPITAL, a three-part drama for BBC1, adapted from John Lanchester’s novel of same name in which he played the smug investment banker, ‘Roger Yount’ in this story of a street propelled into affluence by banker bonus-fuelled property prices.

Toby will also reprise his role of ‘Lance’, opposite Mackenzie Crook, in the third season of the award-winning comedy series, DETECTORISTS, for which he received a BAFTA Best Male Performance nomination in 2016. Written and directed by Mackenzie, the story follows the relationship between two friends who share a passion for metal detecting. 

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