another one to watch. Death as a chess master - and why not. Cocteau had Death dressed in Balenciaga played by Cesares. If you like Bergman you will like this.
For the time it was made it is OK. On today's standards- weak!
Mainly for film students and boffins. Not easy to watch but, like Shakespear, I guess, simpler and funnier than you'd expect.
An all time classis. even though it was in black and white
Like early REM, Ingmar Bergman benefits from
simply leaving him alone for a few years. At one
stage, half of the Best Ten Movies of All Time were
Bergman's: later, none. Both judgements were a tad
extreme. As someone said of Grahame Green; he
wrote one great book, many times. Pick your
favourite Bergman. This is mine.
Though heavily loaded with philosophical subject matter director Bergman treats it in such a way that, at times, it appears light hearted. Despite queries about a silent God and dark themes of death, mortality, existential fears, and Judgment Day reckoning, a tight balance is struck between comedy and drama. Set in 14th century Sweden the allegory searches for answers about the human condition. There are universal chance moments of joy that are life affirming and override the gloom and despair that returning Crusader Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) and his squire, Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand) find in their Plague affected country. The black ‘n white cinematography is absolutely stunning; there’s even consolation in the concluding dance macabre.
Brilliant. Great script, acting, cinematography. Deserves watching and re-watching.
A knight returns from the Crusades to find death everywhere. The country is in the grip of the plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th Century. Disillusioned by his experiences abroad he wants to acquire knowledge of life rather than of God, and challenges Death, a sinister monk-like figure, to a game of chess before continuing on his way. Moves in the game are made as he and his squire ride through the countryside on their way home, lingering at small communities where they often experience scenes of cruelty and despair. Even without the plague, it is a harsh life surviving in the Middle Ages. Shot in black and white with startling imagery and as a number of episodes, the overall bleakness is, fortunately, relieved here and there by a touch of humour and the occasional happy scene.
a fantastic film, a must see thought provocing movie!
This wonderful movie deserves all the praise it gets. It takes advantage of every single aspect of cinema as a piece of art, as well as a form of entertainment. It is comedic without being silly, it is ponderous and philosophical without being pretentious. I would recommend this to anyone who likes having something active to think about in their films. As a bonus The Seventh Seal also gives you gorgeous visuals, some of the best I've ever seen.
Symbolic, graphic black and white with some truly memorable images.
Brilliant!! Art!! See it now!!
Be prepared for this movie.. you must give it your full attention or you will get
lost in the striking images and weight of this extraordinary film.
A classic by all accounts, this film is probably more for students of cinema than your casual lounge lizard.
A clever, attractively shot and almost timeless classic. Brilliant humour mends seemlessly with one of the least pretentious existential themes in cinema.