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…
One of the most stunning looking movies, gorgeous black and white photography, one of the best i have seen to this day. If this was remade today they would probably have death playing angry birds.
beautifully made film, lots to think about.
The Seventh Seal is pretty far from the masterpiece I was hoping for. While it fits a lot of my notions about what constitutes High Art (i.e., an artist struggling to convey some sort of emotional understanding in an aesthetic manner), it's too simplistic. I felt like I was having someone yell at me, "There is no god! There is no afterlife!" over and over. It's not that I feel offended or even disagree, but to me it's a lot less convincing, and more just pestering, than something like Ikiru. The story is overwrought, which makes sense given that it's about Bergman's crippling fear of death, but that causes it to feel really dated for me.
An interesting side-note, Criterion…
This is a remarkable film. An incredibly work of cinema, deep and beautiful, powerful and funny, charming and thought-provoking. It’s a wonderfully made film, with incredible performances, story, and music. But, ultimately, what sets this film apart are two things. First is the absolutely spectacular cinematography, so many unbelievably great shots that have been imitated, evoked, and paid homage to. The second is the story, with it’s deep contradictions and simple unanswered questions. It is a true masterpiece. The first time I saw it I was eighteen, and not at all prepared for it. I didn’t understand it then, but something compelled me to seek it out when I was a bit older. I’m glad I did.
The story is…
De volta das Cruzadas, um cavaleiro vê o seu país física e espiritualmente devastado. Procura respostas a questões como a vida, a morte e a própria existência de Deus. Encontra uma estranha e enigmática personagem, a Morte, com a qual, no decurso de uma longa partida de xadrez, aborda diversas questões, sobre a fé e a dúvida, que permanecem sem resposta. Pelo caminho conhece uma data de personagens que completam esta aventura.
Ingmar Bergman, um dos melhores realizadores de sempre, mais que um técnico, é um artista e um intelectual. Apesar de este senhor ter feito uma data de filmes que abordam temas como a religião, penso que nunca ninguém conseguiu tirar uma verdadeira conclusão sobre as suas crenças. No…
Some of the greatest tonal changes ever. I went from laughing to genuine shock quite a few times. A beautiful film.
I can appreciate why people like this I just really didn't go crazy for it like I've seen others on Letterboxd do. This is literally seen as being one of the greatest European art house movies ever made so my expectations were pretty damn high.....
I loved the lead performance and the black and white cinematography but I just wasn't blown away (which perhaps was what I was expecting to be) by the story. This was my first Ingmar Bergman film however so perhaps after I've explored a bit more of his other work and come back to this at a later date I can appreciate it a bit more.
My second Bergman film, and an incredible pleasure to watch. I appreciate the premise of confronting death and searching for what lies beyond it. In the first several minutes we see Death approach Antonius to tell him that he is not long for life; Antonius responds by challenging him to a game of chess, biding his time so that he may search for what death entails for mortal men. Antonius is very much the opposite of his squire Jon, who I found to be quite a sarcastic and jocular relief from the weight that this film carries.
Bergman literally packs The Seventh Seal to the brim with symbolic metaphors referring to not only the dreary, ominous haze of death in…
"Θέλω να εξομολογηθώ,αλλά νιώθω κενός.
Η κενότητα είναι σαν ένας καθρέφτης. Βλέπω τον εαυτό μου
και νιώθω αηδία.
Είναι τόσο αδύνατο να νιώσω το Θεό; Γιατί κρύβεται σε υποσχέσεις και θαύματα;
Βλέπω τους πιστούς, μα δεν πιστεύω.
Γιατί ο Θεός ζει σε μένα ταπεινωτικά αν και τον καταριέμαι;
Γιατί με κατατρέχει η παρουσία του;
Θέλω Γνώση, όχι πίστη και υποθέσεις.
Θέλω να μ'αγγίξει ο Θεός, να μου μιλήσει.
Αλλά σιωπά...Του φωνάζω, αλλά είναι σα να μην υπάρχει.
'Ισως να μην υπάρχει. Τότε η ζωή είναι φριχτή.
Πώς να ζήσει κανείς με το θάνατο και το κενό;"
Είναι πολύ σημαντικό, όταν αποφασίζει κανείς να παρουσιάσει συνοπτικά, μια τόσο σημαντική ταινία όσο αυτή, όχι μόνο να λαμβάνει υπόψη του τις προσλαμβάνουσες και…
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