For when that friend asks you to introduce him to some really great films. This list is not meant to…
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…
Μου αρεσε πολύ, δεν θα πω ψεμματα. Αλλα δεν την καταχωρησα στο πανθεον των Σπουδαιων Ταινιων παροτι καταφανως ειναι, η ιστορια το έχει αποδείξει. Ποιος ξέρει, μπορει να μου λείπει κάποιο ενζυμο :-(
Σε καθε περιπτωση, ηταν η ταμαμ ταινία για την ημέρα που το είδα(Μ. Σάββατο).
Yesterday I watched Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s defining film on death and abandonment, The Seventh Seal, in which a soldier returns to his native Sweden from the crusades, only to see it riddled with the Black Death. As he draws closer to death, and fears he has been abandoned by God, he plays a game of chess with the personification of Death (there’s that word again; it is no doubt a heavy theme throughout), as one last redemptive act before his inevitable perishment.
Opening with macabre shots of the ice cold Swedish sea crashing onto jagged rocks, all in monochrome, you can immediately tell the direction this film is taking. It sets the dour, black, almost surreal tone of the…
Ingmar Bergman's iconic philosophical drama may be the epitome of the "homework movie" — stark, foreign, and full of portentous symbolism — but once it gets going, it's fairly engaging. A knight (Max Von Sydow) returning from The Crusades journeys home through a land decimated by the Black Plague, fending off Death by challenging the The Grim Reaper to a chess match. On the way, the Knight and a cast of Bergman regulars encounter pestilence, sin, and religious hysteria, such as a parade of flagellants and a witch-burning. However dreary that might sound, Bergman is almost at his silliest at some points of The Seventh Seal, and further leavens the gloom with several nicely drawn characters. While it lacks the emotional punch of other Bergman films that deal with crises of faith, the young family of traveling actors that join the Knight's party provide a rare warm hope in the least expected of places.
A dark yet strangely calming look at the human condition. Haven't got anything insightful to say as I can't quite place what I just saw, but I'm definitely off to a good start with Bergman.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Very religious tale of death playing chess with a knight. Ingmar Bergman is at it again with these challenging tales that make it seem so easy. Nyskvist's camera work is outstanding for it's time as for it lead to modern day compositions we see on screen. Overall beautiful film.
First Bergman. Not really impressed.
"Crucifixion party!" Seeing this right after Life of Brian probably wasn't the best idea, since it probably made the material seem more ponderous than it already is. But under any circumstance, I think I'd likely have found the numerous monologues quite tiresome. Still, the imagery is frequently stunning (the procession that interrupts Jof and Mia's performance, and of course the closing dance of death), and who knows, it might just be an expectation-reality sort of deal, with my disappointment in direct proportion to the film's stature. Only the second Bergman I've seen, but at least Persona is assurance that at least one of his later films is far more dramatically interesting.
A meditation on death. There's a ton more to this movie than just the well-known 'guy plays chess with death' plot. The underarching plots and characters are just as interesting, and skew comic, something I didn't expect from Bergman. It really works as a series of intertwining vignettes all focusing on the same theme, which makes the influence Bergman had on Woody Allen become all the more clear.
The character of death works so well because he defies the general stereotype. He knows he has a job to do, and he's obviously fond of him, but there's a lot more to the character, and he can be very crafty in his ways, while also being very intimidating, especially by the end.
Definitely a Cinema Studies movie, but still pretty damn good.
Movies that are slightly off.
(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)