This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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,…
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…
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…
Perfect. Even better seeing it in 35mm.
I was 20 years old. I was already obsessed with movies. But I didn't realize that up until this point I had merely been riding the roller coaster up its initial ascent.
Then I watched this film, and the roller coaster went over that first hill.
And that's why The Seventh Seal, a film about the fear of death in a world devoid of meaning, is the most fun I've had in front of a movie screen.
To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed. I expected to be blown away. Bergman has the reputation for being one of the best of all time, and I'm not so sure that I'd agree based on this film. I'm still hopeful that Persona will be as great as I expect, but I'm disappointed.
Perhaps I expected The Seventh Seal to be the revolutionary experience of 2001 or Vertigo. It's a good film, but I don't think it's a great film. In my opinion, this pales in comparison with 12 Angry Men, which was released the same year.
It's been a while since I've seen an Ingmar Bergman film, so I decided to re-watch The Seventh Seal. This is by far Bergman's most entertaining feature film. The acting is great, especially Max von Sydow. The setting and pacing is perfect and I didn't feel a single dull moment throughout the runtime. It is hard to understand a times, though. Grade: A
My dad always told me it would be usefull to know how to play chess.... Interesting!
At first I didn't get it, but all of a sudden, towards the end of the movie, it all just clicked. This is a a masterpiece.
There are seven reasons to prove that The Seventh Seal is an absolute masterpiece:
First: Directed masterfully in every sense of the word
Second: Original screenplay extraordinarily written
Third: Incredible use of metaphors to create fantasy elements
Fourth: The dialogues. Oh, the dialogues...
Fifth: There is a knight playing chess with the Death!
Sixth: Useful special effects and ominous soundtrack to establish a growing apocalyptic atmosphere concordant to the narrative
Seventh: I don't know yet. but i'll discover when my time comes.
I was genuinely pleased with this film.
While it maybe a little hard to follow and fully grasps, it's still an impressive spectacle that's filled with rich meaning, wonderful directing, interesting characters, and did leave something of impact afterwards.
Maybe this one would give a re watch in the future.
Movies that are slightly off.
(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)