Disillusioned and exhausted after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight (Max von Sydow) encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning, The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet), was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art-house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of moviegoing. —The Criterion Collection
The most famed and honored filmmaker ever to emerge from the nation of Sweden – and regarded by many as one of the three or four most brilliant directors of the 20th century – Ingmar Bergman radically altered the nature and meaning of the motion-picture form, transfiguring a medium long devoted to spectacle into an art capable of profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul. By focusing on the exploration of self with unparalleled intensity, Bergman brought to the screen a new sense of emotional intimacy, fusing the concepts behind Freudian psychotherapy with a dreamlike sensibility founded on visual metaphors, flashbacks, and extreme close-ups to create a revelatory cinematic world unlike any before it.
Born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden, he followed a brief 1938 military stay by attending Stockholm University. While there, he staged his first plays, among them adaptations of Macbeth, August Strindberg’s… read more
Underneath such a depthless guise of clumsy, heavy-handed symbolism is merely an adolescent epiphany of ‘only death is real.’ With answers all spoonfed and no nourishment of thought, this is a grave insult to true philosophical cinema.
When I first saw this one back in high school I fell in love with the angst and dark material, but watching it again today I realized just how life-affirming The Seventh Seal actually is, and how much humor is in here. My favorite sequence of the entire movie is when Death cuts down the tree killing the actor and a squirrel jumps up on the stump.
Updated. "Gunnar Fischer, a cinematographer whose use of stark lighting and sharp focus lent mood and psychological depth to a dozen of Ingmar
HOW TO FORGET The erosion of a reputation— The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1935) is an unusual film, but we'll come to that. It affected
Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film, The Seventh Seal, is another work that is reflective of the artist’s crisis with his own spiritual identity. To that point, it has been noted that during the time… read review
Revisiting Bergman’s The Seventh Seal