Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Seventh Seal
Ingmar Bergmann’s masterpiece film about confronting death. Death comes to a knight upon his arrival from battle and attempts to take him away. The knight challenges Death to a chess match as the people around them are haunted by the plague. The Seventh Seal comes from a riddle about crusaders who arrive home after a few years to find their people affected by the plague.
My first Bergman feature and it proved to be quite an intriguing one. The Seventh Seal poses some of the most pertinent questions known to mankind and that too in a very bare and straight out manner.
It tells the story of Antonious Block, a knight who is returning home after the crusades. He meets Death and challenges him to play a game of chess with him and in turn buys time of respite to reach home and meet his love. The film is a journey toward Block's home, his unending quest to know whether God really exists or not, and his meetings with people of multifarious kinds.
The film is filled with intelligent and contemplative dialogue of both kinds,…
''I met Death today. We are playing chess.''
Ingmar Bergman's 1957 hallowed masterpiece The Seventh Seal seems to exist in a pantheon of cinema greatness that is universally adored and cherished, with it's iconic symbolism and imagery imprinted on the minds and hearts of Cinephiles across all matter of time and space. As I ventured into my third viewing (the first in more than ten years), I was curious to discover whether the acclaim was still warranted, of which the answer was unequivocally 'Yes'.
I recently saw mentioned that Bergman's film Winter Light (made five years after this), is a modern retelling of the same themes in many ways, which is very astute considering what we know of the revered…
Much like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Seventh Seal offers a cross section of Mediaeval life and while doing so it comments on our race, faith and life.
I don't know much about Bergman, but this feels like a personal exploration of an artist trying to figure out how he relates to God, the afterlife and his own mortality. Bergman does this by constructing a deeply philosophical allegory composed of classic iconic imagery and intelligent, contemplative dialogue.
In the Knight we find a man desperately clinging to life. Not because he is afraid to die, but because he needs answers. In a plague infested world he needs to understand why his God is silent. To buy time he challenges Death to…
The Seventh Seal was surprisingly more witty than I expected it to be, but even if it can be quite fun at times (I even laughed at several occasions), it's tone can suddenly change into a more serious one in just a few seconds, without feeling tonally inconsistent. Everyone in the film is constantly surrounded by death in some way. It of course takes place during the Black Death, where death was present everywhere. The one who probably deals the most with death, and even directly with the embodiment of death itself, is Max Von Sydow's character. He tries to deal with his fear of death, and in the very first scene of the movie, Death comes to take him,…
My Great Uncle Jim, may he rest in peace, used to sit next to me at the dinner table every Thanksgiving and ask me "Hey Scott, seen any good movies lately?". Whatever I answered, if it was a film made after 1980 he would immediately show his disinterest and say "They just don't make em' like they used to", and I would roll my eyes and continue eating my dry turkey and canned cranberry sauce. I couldn't help but think of him while watching The Seventh Seal for the first time (that's right, first time, wanna fight about it?).
They really don't make films like The Seventh Seal anymore. At least, if they do, I certainly am missing out on…
Danse Macabre and the philosophical questions of life at the verge of death. The Seventh Seal is the film that put Bergman on the map as a force to be reckon with in the world of cinema. Despite gaining much praise from his previous film Smiles of a Summer Night from the year before it was this film which won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes that set him on the path to iconic status among film critics. This is very much the truth with the film being Bergman's first of many masterpieces of filmmaking to come.
What makes The Seventh Seal on top of the elite is how Bergman works with such smaller scale production values, few locations and…
Beautiful Bergman film which explores man's search for meaning in death. Best moments come from the character's quietly contemplating their existence.
Visually brilliant. It's so good you could literally pause the movie anytime and what you get is a beautiful scenic painting!
Well dammit, now I'm going to have a bunch of existential thoughts about my own mortality for the next few days...
Trivia: The costume worn by the jester Skat made its way into rock history being later worn by Mick Fleetwood on the cover of the 1977 Fleetwood Mac album Rumours.
They missed a trick for a action prequel set in the Holy Lands directed by Zach Snyder.
Should have played a Queen's Gambit
w/ Cowie's commentary, which is a must-listen if there ever has been one.
all right, i watched it. after years of hearing about it. honestly? i am disappointed. much like i was with citizen kane, this movie had me bored 90 percent of the time. i thought it was going to be a much more philosophical deal with more emphasis on the chess match and this dying dude having a crazy conversation. its not really that at all. the whole movie showed me that death is avoidable if its distracted? lol yea i either really didnt get this flick or i just didnt like it.
Allegory is nothing new in film, nor was it new in 1957. However allegory can be handled skillfully, or it can be a heavy-handed exercise in preaching. Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece centers on a meeting between Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow), a knight returning from the Crusades, and Death (Bengt Ekerot). Emotionless, pasty-faced and vaguely sardonic, Death is tricked into staying his scythe when Block challenges him to a game of chess. Full of haunting, iconic images and a touch of humanity, "The Seventh Seal" is cinema at its most artful, a philosophical meditation on the meaning, or meaningless of mortality.
Taking its title from the Book of Revelation, "The Seventh Seal" could quite possibly be considered a horror movie. It's…
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