Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) 1957 PG
6.00PM Fri 3 Mar 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
'The Seventh Seal' is one of the few films really close to my heart … It's certainly far from perfect. I had to contend with all sorts of madness, and one can detect here and there the speed with which it was made. But I find it even, strong, and vital.
[It] is definitely one of my last films to manifest my conceptions of faith, conceptions that I had inherited from my father and carried along with me from childhood.
The Seventh Seal will screen from an archival 35mm film print.
The most instantly recognisable film in Bergman's oeuvre is almost certainly 1957's The Seventh Seal. Despite being oft-parodied for its iconic depiction of the figure of Death – Bengt Ekerot's stern white face nearly swallowed by a sweeping black cowl – and his game of chess on a grim Nordic beach, the film has lost none of its potency. It follows a medieval knight (an early screen performance from eventual screen legend Max von Sydow) who has returned from the Crusades disillusioned with the state of the world and what he perceives as the indifferent silence of God. Death has come to claim the knight but agrees to forestall his quietus while they battle for the knight's soul by means of a protracted game of chess.
The Seventh Seal is of course less interested in the particulars of a chess match than it is in the raw power of a man at the end of his existence trying desperately to make sense of his own, and all, life. It is a rare act of cinematic bravado – a young filmmaker using his medium to explicitly ask the biggest questions of all, powerfully and unflinchingly.
PG | Mature themes, Mild coarse language
The Seventh Seal also screens on Wed 15 March at 7.45pm
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 96 MINS, SWEDEN, SWEDISH/LATIN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: INGMAR BERGMAN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GUNNAR FISCHER / EDITOR: LENNART WALLÉN / PRODUCTION CO: SVENSK FILMINDUSTRI / PRINT SOURCE: SWEDISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE, CANBERRA