The Seventh Seal: The Criterion Collection
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After a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight challenges Death to a fateful game of chess. More than forty years after its initial release, Ingmar Bergman's stunning allegory of man's apocalyptic search for meaning remains a textbook on the art of filmmaking and an essential building block in any collection. Criterion is proud to present The Seventh Seal in a pristine new transfer.
Ingmar Bergman's 1956 film, The Seventh Seal has been parodied by everyone from Woody Allen to Bill 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 an apocalyptic scenario inspired by the Book of Genesis. He plays chess with Death (Bengt Ekerot), sees a manacled witch, watches a band of flagellants go by--all of it foretelling an inevitable end to life. Unabashedly allegorical and lyrical and existing in a world unto itself, the film is enormously mesmerising no matter what one thinks of the weighty meanings Bergman has attached to it all.--Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is an achievment in style. The film manages to look amazing by virtue of Bergman's skill with lighting and cinematography alone. Especially compared to the big budget, color Hollywood titles of the time (such as The Ten Commandments) which look plastic despite their "special effects" and use of color (this film is black & white).
The subject of the movie is man's search for the meaning of life and the question of whether or not God exists. The film is both thought-provoking and blunt in its presentation of this subject and the answers which Bergman provides are suprisingly blunt.
The DVD quality is great, as it always is with Criterion Collection DVDs, and Peter Cowie's commentary is particularly good.
However, I will admit that this film is not for everyone. It also seems to require (for me anyway) one to be in a certain "mood" to view it. If you want to simply be entertained then this is not a film for you, but if you want to view a skillfully directed and wonderfully thought-provoking (if a bit dated) film then go for it.
This game will let exchange , scrutinize several ideas concerned with the faith , the silence of God and its own existence. God is a comfortable idea for the mankind ; it keeps them warmth , besides the man can dream with the hope of a celestial Paradise after this journey through this awful and miserable world. The ending sequence with the Dance of the Death is one of the most captivating and fascinating images in all the cinema story.
Many people state this is the Masterpiece : and obviously to me it's one of the three major achievements ; Persona and Cries and Whispers would be the rest .
But I've watched almost forty films of this brilliant swedish film maker and in his particular case ; a minor film from Bergman is above the average . So my advise is try to find out and watch all you can from this outstanding director.
This film won the Special Jury Prize 1957.
A timeless cult movie.
A knight and his squire are returning home from the crusades. Disgusted and desillusionised by what he has experienced, the knight just longs to die. He has just one last wish: to find out why he has lived. Death does not care, but agrees to let him live for as long as they continue their chess game.
They travel through a land ravaged by plague, fear, and banditry. Helpless the knight sees the world falling apart around him. Everything he believed in as a young man has been tainted or proved false.
Death cheats in the chess game. In the end the knight loses, but he gains some solace when he saves a young family from Death. Still, he leaves this world as unknowing as he entered as a child.
This film has a tremendous impact on the mind. It deals with the big questions: Why am I here? Why does evil exist, and why is it so powerful? What can one human do to affect the world? The last question is the only one that is answered: small things, but small things are also important.
The acting is briljant, with Max von Sydow as the knight. The personification of Death has inspired writers as different as Woody Allen and Terry Pratchett.
I was first exposed to some of Ingmar Bergman's work when I was in my teens. Back then I only thought I understood Bergman. I was wrong; with Bergman there is always some new guidance to provide further appreciation for life. Unfortunately, this outstanding director passed away in July of 2007. I felt obligated to buy Criterion's release of Bergman's masterpiece The Seventh Seal. I've seen the Seventh Seal three times.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I feel like a fool for not loving this classic examination of the
existence (or lack thereof) of both God and the meaning of life more. Read more
this is the first Ingmar Bergman i have seen.Bergman is a very revered
Swedish director.i wasn't sure what to expect with this film,but i had
wanted to see it for some... Read more
The Seventh Seal put me to sleep. I guess Woody Allen saw this one fifty times and the critics thought it was deep man, but I had a hard time keeping my lids from falling. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by R. A Rubin
This movie is a milestone in cinema history - no need to question its directing, cinematography, or content - it's genius. Criterion's restoration of the picture is stunning. Read morePublished on April 8 2004 by Patrik Lemberg
This review is for the criterion collection edition.
This film is probably the most famous Swedish film to be released in the US. Read more
I approached this movie with few preconceived notions; I had heard of it but knew little in the way of reviews. I started it at 2 a.m. Read morePublished on March 7 2004
One of my all time favourite movies. Bergman is perhaps the only director that could pull off having Death as a character playing chess with our mortal hero. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by jordan
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS NO SPOILERS-
For those who've never seen this film: It's always best to see a film yourself before investing in its purchase, and that may go doubly so... Read more
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