The seventh seal

The seventh seal

DVD - 1998 | Swedish
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A 14th century Swedish knight returns from the Crusades to find his country ravaged by the plague. The knight encounters Death, personified, and plays chess with him, hoping for time to resolve his own religious doubts and to save a young couple from death.

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rhodo86
Feb 12, 2017

A masterpiece. I watched it and the passion of Joan of Arc in the same evening a week ago but the teary face of a woman monopolized my dreams that night. As some reviewers already mentioned here, the challenge of the existence of God was dated. Both movies talked about grace, courage in the face of death and God's silence in a very different way, both deserved 5 star rating but one seemed to stand the test of time a bit better according to my dreams from that night.

a
ANTHONYZEDAN
Feb 02, 2017

I re-watched Ingmar Bergman's classic, The Seventh Seal, tonight and was struck by what an immensely beautiful and honest film it is; how we all struggle with life and death and the eventual end of our lives and its meaning or lack thereof and the need for faith in something beautiful in the face of death's cynicism, how some of us struggle to be better and get along and contribute to the common good when faced with so much ignorance, adversity, dread and stupid superstitions. If you don't remember the basic plot it deals with how a faithful Christian crusader knight, after spending many trying years in the Holy Land under terrible circumstances, makes his journey back home with his squire after having made a deal to play chess with Death to extend his personal journey to possibly know God, and comes to know God through the people he picks up along the way, Judgment day looms over the film from the beginning in the form of the plague that is devastating his homeland, the biblical references to Judgment Day, and the spiritual angst of the possibility of meeting his own death without having proof of God's existence. All I could think about was how all of the characters are archetypes of the human persona, good and bad, some stronger than others, playing out this play called life. It literally gave me tears of joy.

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davidco29
Nov 07, 2016

Beautifully restored version of this Swedish classic - the Criterion Collection have done a fantastic job!

This may have lost some impact over time as it has been much parodied but it remains a true classic of world cinema.

The story of Antonius Block as he wrestles with the silence of God in a world ravaged by an apocalyptic plague (the Black Death) is both confronting and challenging. Bergman refuses to tie things up in a neat ending, leaving the viewer to contemplate life and existence for ourselves.

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distortnoise
Sep 08, 2014

Solid acting, jarring soundtrack, impressive cinematography combined with an original storyline with a very morose ending (a unique characteristic of most Swedish films) make this a very influential film and a benchmark in Swedish cinema.

xaipe Aug 08, 2013

The story of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with Death during a time when the Black Plague swept the land. There is no "storyline." The narrative exists in a larger structure of images or allegories made literal. I saw this more years ago than I can remember and yet certain images remain vivid in my memory: the image of Death and the Knight playing chess, and the final scene of the Dance of Death. It was parodied by Woody Allen who also greatly admired it. Rich in images and allegories, but not for the faint-hearted. Its challenge to the existence of God is dated, but still relevant. So many films since its release are derivative, so worth watching for cinephiles.

doom60 Aug 07, 2013

Scott Walker did a song about the film around 1969. Same title. He tells the story of the knight in five dramatic minutes. You might like it.

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ericbrown
May 22, 2013

If you are interested we talked about this movie at the Carlingwood Library Film Club. We discuss three movies a month and we meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the Month.

cerasokelso Apr 04, 2013

Interesting concept, however I found it slow and boring, luckily the movie wasn't that long.

y
yumsushi
Nov 20, 2012

Though full of symbolism and an important message, I found the overall presentation boring.

d
durogoff
Jan 31, 2011

An absolute masterpiece. Bergman proved that you can do philosophy with a camera.
Outstanding!

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haPPY_FUn_baLL
Nov 11, 2009

haPPY_FUn_baLL thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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