A richly textured filmic essay, Patience (After Sebald) offers an introduction and companion to the writings of W.G. Sebald (1944-2001), taking as its framework his 1995 book The Rings of Saturn, in which he described a walk through coastal East Anglia together with the reflections which it inspired upon art, landscape, history, and life itself.
The film, like the book and its journey, is leisurely, contemplative and full of fascinating diversions that range from the hatching of silkworms to the skull of Sir Thomas Browne.
As an enthusiastic photographer, Sebald incorporated pictures as counterpoints to his text, and many of these images set the visual tone for Grant Gee's film. In conjunction with excerpts from the book eloquently spoken by Jonathan Pryce, a haunting succession of landscapes both familiar and otherworldly echoes the author's preoccupation with themes of transformation and loss.
Since Sebald's death, his work has gradually grown in appreciation in the Western world; it has been said, and repeated in this lyrical homage, that he most probably would have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Testimonies to his influence punctuate the film in reflections from artists, filmmakers, writers and poets who include Tacita Dean, Marina Warner, and Andrew Motion.
Through word, sound, and image, this prismatic exploration of the man and his vision creates a gently mesmerising experience.
"If you haven't read the book, you'll want to. If you have read the book, you'll want to read it again." ?- David Jenkins, Little White Lies
(Please note that this screening is free of charge to Berwick Film Society Passholders, via The Maltings Box Office)
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