Stands up very well indeed - very watchable. Indeed, some time I will re-watch. Obviously 5* if you include its importance to film history, but 4* for me without that context. Some little flaws of film-making detract - some dodgy acting, the perennial problem of musical instrument playing, some crowd scenes. Gunnar Björnstrand as the sancho panza character Jöns was fabulous.
A Bergman in uberexistential mode delivers one of the most iconic sequences in cinema, a knight playing a game of chess with Death. Bergman considers the ultimate questions, searches for the meaning of life with death at the heels and proposes an eternal battle between Good and Evil however our deepest gratitude to him will always be for this epic and astonishing brief visual and poetic achievement.
The Seventh Seal is not just a film. It transcends drama and narrative. Its a personal voyage through the depths of nothingness; meaning. It questions god, death, the absence of the self in a time where the black plague swept the world to its very core bringing emptiness to the humanity. (rest in the comments).
A charming little comedy about death. A plague is devastating the land as a knight and his squire return home after years away. Unlike most I find this film a little heavy in its handling of our responses to mortality and a loss of religious faith. The comedy is fragile and often bleak. That said the film is technically brilliant with wonderful photography and Bengt Ekerot's Death steals all the laurels.
«I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I shall try to remember our talk. I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign to me, and a great sufficiency.»
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.