A film about nothing and everything.
memento_mori - wrote on 08/06/13
Ingmar Bergman is a master of... a lot of things.
He used framing perfectly, knew who to cast, knew what duration to pan into a shot, and to me is easily comparable to Stanley Kubrick through his directorial style. At this point, I have not seen many of his films, but of the ones I have seen, I have nothing to say except that they are a slice from heaven.
The Seventh Seal in particular holds a place close to my heart. It has everything I love. Great acting, a lengthy screenplay and philosophical dialogue. Even though it's in black and white, it feels like it's in color. You don't need color to imagine. I knew the strawberries and milk in that bowl were red and white. I knew Antonius Block's hair was sparkling blonde. I knew squire Jöns' heart was glowing with courage. I didn't need the color.
The way everything was presented had me nailed to my seat and in love with the characters.
It also depends about the way you view it. To some, it may seem likes movie that's about nothing, and to some it's a movie that questions everything. Pleasure, Morality, Sin, God, Life, Death and Everything after.
Max von Sydow would be one of my favorite actors if he just didn't do such forgettable stuff nowadays, like Minority Report and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The fifties and his filmography with Bergman were his prime, because in Shame and this film, he truly delivers performances so radical that they appear as a spitting image of their characters. He should do a Swedish film again.
You probably want to know what I think of the famous Death and Knight Chess scenes. I think they're brilliant. Perfect lighting, perfect tension, perfect dialogue. The first and final chess sequences between Antonius Block and Death are some of the best scenes put to screen.
Ingmar Bergman has a very unique directorial style, where he uses the black and white disadvantage and makes it an advantage. Some little perks pop up once in a while, like a ray of sunshine over someone's face or a shadow covering a certain motif.
There are just so many moments in this film where I can say: that is simply beautiful.
The chess sequences, the seduction dance scene, the oblivious confession of Antonius Block, the ending and so many more make me want to kiss this marvel of a movie.
I don't understand Swedish, and yet I understood this film. That just goes to show that you don't need to watch a film in your native language to still be able to let it touch your heart and understand its purpose and what it is trying to express.
This is more than a movie. It's art.