Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal is a foreign film from 1957 directed by Ingmar Bergman. It stars Max von Sydow as the knight returning home from the crusades who plays a game of chess with Death with his fate dependent on the outcome of the game. It is #12 on the Arts and Faith list of 100 most spiritually significant films. We have the Criterion DVD.

This is a trailer:

Youtube has this online in 9 parts. part 1:

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9

It's on Roger Ebert's list of great films. Moria calls it "one of the genuine masterpieces of cinema." Senses of Cinema says of this film: "It teaches us to see anew, with the faith, innocence and wonder of the believer or child." FilmReference.com ens with this:
With its sparse, stylized, thematic dialogue, its austere sound effects, and its dignified melancholy music, The Seventh Seal survives as a compelling, if obsessive film, visually beautiful but permeated by the lighter as well as the darkest aspects of religious experience. It remains a powerful study in the cruelty of the religious impulse once it has soured in the human consciousness and merged with the darker aspects of the psyche. Bergman, at this spiritually troubled time in his life, was concerned with, "the idea of the Christian God as something destructive and fantastically dangerous, something filled with risk for the human being and bringing out in him the dark destructive forces instead of the opposite."

The New York Times describes it as
a piercing and powerful contemplation of the passage of man upon this earth. Essentially intellectual, yet emotionally stimulating, too,

DecentFilms.com says,
Though the film’s theme, the silence of God and the horror of death if there is no afterlife, is an essentially religious one, The Seventh Seal doesn’t really deal with religion or God as such, but with the place of God and religion in the human heart and human society.

9/12/2007: The Criterion Collection blog has a review.

2/3/2008: The House of Mirth and Movies hasa review.

4/24/2009: We watched this tonight, The Younger Son and The Husband having never seen it before.

6/14/2009: Criterion Confessions has a review.

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