This week we’re gonna go foreign and black and white.
The Seventh Seal (1957), directed by Ingmar Bergman is one of the most replicated and referenced films in history, yet not a lot of people have actually seen it.
Bergman is a director who deals with very complex issues: the existence of God, family affairs, and death. He is also one of the most influential directors of all time, his films spanning from the early 50s to the mid 80s, featuring classics like Wild Strawberry’s, The Virgin Spring, and Fanny and Alexander.
This movie is a very special one for me, it introduced me to Bergman, ,it introduced me to the Criterion Collection, but most importantly it introduced me to the art-house cinema.The film, when released also gained international attention, opening up a whole new realm for directors to explore, giving birth to the modern day art-house film.
I remember during my freshman year of high school, I randomly found out about this film on IMDB because it was getting released on Criterion. I read the summary: a knight returning from the crusades is confronted by Death and engages in a chess match with him.
I immediately added it to my Netflix queue and waited.
When I finally watched it I had no idea what I had seen. The movie is filled with haunting cinematography and full to the brim with messages and themes. I still am trying to work out the film to this day, having seen it 5-6 more times.
So I hope I can introduce you to this masterpiece of Swedish cinema, and also introduce you to one of the greatest directors in the history of film. It is available on Youtube for some reason, and on Hulu Plus (as are most, if not all of Bergman’s films.)