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The Seventh Seal (The Criterion Collection Edition DVD)

3 Ratings: 4.7
The Criterion Collection's 1999 DVD of Ingmar Bergman's 1957 existential fantasy film.

Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film has been parodied by everyone from Woody Allen toBill and Ted's Bogus Journey, but it remains one of the strangest and richest classics of world cinema. Max Von Sydow plays a knight returning from the Crusades to encounter … see full wiki

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genre: Foreign
Release Date: February 16, 1957
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about The Seventh Seal (The Criterion Collection...

Death and Life Spar to Greater Meaning

  • Apr 29, 2007
Ingmar Bergman's `The Seventh Seal' deserves to be the classic it is. Offbeat but profound and interesting, the film takes place during Medieval Times when the plague was ravaging Europe. A knight (Max von Sydow) and squire return from the Crusades, battle weary, but no less zealous to start a crusade for the meaning of life in Sweden their home country. Weary on the beach, the Knight gets into a chess match with Death personified, a game that will come back periodically throughout the movie. In the meantime, they gather with traveling actors looking for love and respect while offering needed respite during dreary times. Whether sparring in game or conversation the dialogue is brimming with meaning about how life and death frame one another. The resolution may not get the assent of the entire audience, but it will offer some solace and thoughtful resolve.

Watching 'The Seventh Seal' is fascinating, but I couldn't help thinking that in an age that often looks to 'The Left Behind' series for meaning about life and death, death seems so much more eminent and illuminating in Bergman's take of Medieval Times, whose real life participants had more right to think of Doomsday than we do.

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