The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The Seventh Seal
When disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) returns home from the Crusades to find his country in the grips of the Black Death, he challenges Death (Bengt Ekerot) to a chess match for his life. Tormented by the belief that God does not exist, Block sets off on a journey, meeting up with traveling players Jof (Nils Poppe) and his wife, Mia (Bibi Andersson), and becoming determined to evade Death long enough to commit one redemptive act while he still lives.
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…
Too short. Much shorter than what I've remembered, but it was six years ago when I last watched this masterpiece. Took me way too long to revisit and now I am deeply ashamed. From now on, I will whip myself for each time I've allowed a single dust particle to settle on the cover.
I crave for more. More! I want it to go on forever! The Seventh Seal has opened doors in my heart I never knew existed. The cobwebs are cleared, the lights switched on. Oh Bergman, how I've failed you. I must confess that I've barely touched your filmography so far. I'm an awful, awful person. Unforgivable! Everything I look for is right in front of me,…
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…
We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God.
More of an experience than a mere film. Exploring faith through the silence of God with a knight returning after a decade away in the Crusades is more then just brilliant, it's powerful film making. That description of course doesn't even begin to do the film justice or contain all the themes it explores.
The knight is Antonius Block played by Max von Sydow, who couldn't be more then 28 at the time, but still embodies experience beyond his years behind a stoic demeanor. His frustrations never seem to get the better of him, but his disillusionment with faith and need for answers is very much…
An unsettling psychological drama/black comedy with strong themes of morality and death.
Medieval mystic tale. Deserve its cult status.
It's interesting and I'm sure way ahead of it's time. But I didn't find it engaging and it was a bit caricature-ish. Maybe by design, but to me this is a film that is "important" for what it pioneered but isn't particularly entertaining now.
Ingmar Bergman's dark, bleak and philosophical masterpiece, true classic of world cinema, Seventh Seal is a legendary film. It wast the first Bergman film I saw, and I was under its impression for a very long time. This film set the Swedish cinema on the map, and revealed one of the greatest auteurs in cinema history. Set in the Dark Ages, it tells a tale of a Swedish knight returning from the Crusades. On return he realizes his country is ravaged by plague. He rethinks about his own existence, and meets a travelling troupe of stage actors (with a strong reference to Joseph, Marie and their son, Jesus) all while playing a chess game with Death in order to prolong his life (although he knows that Death can't be avoided) so that he can find the meaning of life. The narrative unfolds like a novel, very beautifully in its bleak subject matter. Must-see for true cinephiles and art movie fans.
Ingmar Berman crafts an art-house epic that exhibits the dance between not only life and death but also of art and reality. The Seventh Seal takes place in the midst of the bubonic plague. Villages and cities around the countryside are stricken with what appears to be an unavoidable death. Throughout the film Bergman presents life and death as an elaborate dance or chase that no one escapes. This theme evolves into a physical representation when the Swedish knight Antonius plays chess with death itself. During this dance of life and death Berman plays with the idea of how death should be portrayed. He juxtaposes comedic moments with dark subject matter and striking death scenes. One example of this…
The Seventh Seal - 3.5/4
Ah, it's about time I visited Bergman's most popularized classic, and it did not disappoint. It is definitely Bergman through and through, and I absolutely love his obsessions with faces, symbolic imagery, and not too subtle subtext. It's a rich film that asks the most mysterious and prized questions of humanity. Is there a god? If so, why does he let so many of his children perish and let murderers roam free?
Max von Sydow's Antonius Block is a memorable face indeed, as he carries with him the unknowing questions we all posses with us, among with the fears and anxiousness of life and death. He is phenomenal here, and stands out among an already…
The grandaddy of art house and one of the gateway-drugs to a life in film (at least for me)
I kept waiting for Max Von Sydow to turn into a seal but he didn't.
[...] Vielleicht sprechen mich die Themen überhaupt nicht an (ich grüble wenig über den allumfassenden Sinn, weil ich daran Glaube etwas aus dem „jetzt“ zu machen, kann das Leben problemlos als endlich akzeptieren und bin mit der Antwort „Zufall“ auf die Frage nach dem großen „Warum?“ zufrieden), vielleicht ist es meine leichte Abneigung gegen „Historien“filme (sobald ich diese Kostüme sehe, bin ich schon abgeturnt) – aber faktisch konnte ich nichts aus dem Film ziehen, nicht inhaltlich und nicht inszenatorisch (im Sinne von „viewing-pleasure“). [...]
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…