January 2, 2016

The Seventh Seal.

Review #777: The Seventh Seal.

Gunnar Björnstrand (Jöns, squire), Bengt Ekerot (Death), Nils Poppe (Jof), Max von Sydow (Antonius Block), Bibi Andersson (Mia, Jof's wife), Inga Landgré (Karin, Block's wife), Åke Fridell (Blacksmith Plog), and Inga Gill (Lisa, blacksmith's wife) Directed by Ingmar Bergman.

The Seventh Seal has been heralded as a classic of world cinema, so much so that it is hard to talk about it when others (with significantly more knowledge of film) have talked about the movie extensively. But in any case, these reviews are just my opinion, which you can take/not take for value. Welcome to Season 6 and 2016. 

The Seventh Seal (known in Sweden as Det sjunde inseglet) happens to be the first Swedish film reviewed on Movie Night, and it comes from Ingmar Bergman, who directed movies for over 50 years until his death in 2007. The movie can be grim (especially at the beginning and end), but it also has its insertions of humor and warmth (particularly with Poppe and Andersson, who represent hope even in times of death). The acting is well done, especially by Max von Sydow, who seems perfectly natural and makes for a performance anyone could root for in any decade. The most memorable scene is when Death first appears to Sydow's character, and Ekerot's look is especially chilling. Another memorable scene is the procession of the flagellants, and the expressions of the cast as the haunting scene proceeds around them. The dance of death ends the movie much in the way that everyone inevitably has to face, with no one being able to escape death. The movie looks great as well (due to the cinematography by Gunnar Fischer), having a stark and an appearance. Ultimately, this is a movie that doesn't cheat its audience, because it is a movie that makes one think without having to be spoon fed info, or just being a grim tale. Sure, it is a bleak movie with death, but it also has its touches of hope amidst the darkness that engulf us all.

Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

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