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, this is a stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning.
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Beautiful. I did not expect it to be as funny as it is. Memorable characters and performances, complete with a very bleak look at humanity make The Seventh Seal great. I gotta get me some more Bergman.
Bergman shows to us the thin relationship between life and death, as well as the fragile, unknown and painful relation that humans have with their own religion.
Seventh Seal is a deep reflection about the perception of human being related to the inconspicuous way that fear and weakness are so bounded among us.
A masterpiece from one of the most remarkable filmmakers.
The face of existential despair, in my mind, is not Edvard Munch's oft stolen painting but that of Antonius Block. As the witch burns in front of him, and his squire confronts him by saying that it is neither god nor the devil that awaits the suffering child but pure nothingness, a visibly shaken Block nonetheless refuses to relinquish hope that maybe, maybe...
Just watched, and was absolutely glued to it from start to finish. I loved the concepts of something and nothing after death sitting side by side and the holiness of human beans embodied in Jof, Mia and their baby. S'great.
Funny as it may sound, the humour is what impresses me most. The film's bold vision is no picnic, but it's also hardly the dour, pretentious saga its reputation sometimes suggests. Everyone is distinct, and the key players all have wit and sass to them; even death himself. It's a tantalizingly, remarkably human film.
It makes a lot of sense to discuss the perception of death about 10 years after the Second War: as we go back to Medieval time, the image of a god as the center of fear develops to our post-Age-of-Enlightment when we kill god and the fears based on devil-beliefs, but face the end of the world by the hands of men. Bergman delivers great scene after great scene in this one: a tale to be rewatched over and over.
Seen in glorious 35mm, at the opening of the new Pacific Film Archive! Seal's reputation seems to have lost some of its luster, which can happen when a director's most famous film isn't necessarily his best. And indeed, compared with the very best Bergman, it looks fairly dated. But it'd be foolish to deny its richness or moments of drop-dead beauty. An essential piece of movie history, but please don't stop here.