Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Det Sjunde inseglet (1957)

The Seventh Seal (Swedish: Det sjunde inseglet) is an existential film directed by Ingmar Bergman about the journey of a medieval knight (Max von Sydow) across a plague-ridden landscape, and a monumental game of chess between himself and the personification of Death, who has come to take his life. The film is spoken in Swedish, and is shown with subtitles in local languages (quotations below are from English subtitles). The film has been regarded since its release as a masterpiece of cinematography. The title refers to a passage about the end of the world from the Book of Revelation, used both at the very start of the film, and again towards the end, beginning with the words "And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" (Revelation 8:1). Bergman developed the film from his own play Wood Painting.

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