The Seventh Seal (1957)
March 29, 2020 11:20 AM - Subscribe

Disillusioned knight Antonius Block (Max von Sydow in his first roll for Bergman) seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Apropos a certain epidemic, the movie holds as if it was shot just yesterday.

Bengt Ekerot as Death

Here is a photo of Bergman on Fårö island

Here is a photo of Bergman taking a nap, years later
posted by growabrain (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
a truly beautiful movie. last time I watched it was 3am during a raging thunderstorm.
posted by supermedusa at 12:35 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


The last time I saw this was at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Mass as the first part of a double feature with Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. The also showed George Coe's brilliant parody De Duva as an intermission short. You can watch it on YouTube here. (Keep an eye out for Madeline Kahn's first film role as a predatory lesbian).
posted by firechicago at 1:04 PM on March 29 [5 favorites]


Though the knight and Death are obviously at the center of the film, it wouldn't be half of what it is without Jons the square.
posted by Fukiyama at 1:44 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


I watched it in a grotty basement projected on a literal bedsheet. I was captivated so thoroughly that the building above us could have burned to the ground and I wouldn't have noticed.

It is currently streaming in the US via the Criterion Channel and Kanopy (which you can use with a library card).
posted by Etrigan at 3:40 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Read It And Weep just released an episode about it!
posted by meese at 5:19 PM on March 29


the first part of a double feature with Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

This is brilliant.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:35 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


My last link above got borked, here it is again:

"Here is a photo of Bergman taking a nap, years later"
posted by growabrain at 1:41 AM on March 30


haven't watched it in a long time; i think it was when i was a high school kid ... i remember the clouds, thick and dark, the sky seemed so close and threatening, about to swallow both the chess players and myself. the world seemed inexhaustibly large, almost sublime. i need to rewatch, though, as it's been 20 years almost.
posted by sapagan at 1:46 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


the first part of a double feature with Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

It's a tangent, but you've reminded me that whenever Mrs. Example or I see William Sadler on TV, it's a toss-up as to whether we say "Yew have sunk my battleship!" or "Say, did you know our basic cable comes with lesbian porn?".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:24 AM on March 30


Chess and death are forever linked in my mind.
posted by No Robots at 12:19 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


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