What It’s About: A knight (Max von Sydow) returns to Sweden from the Crusades during a plague and plays chess against Death (Bengt Ekerot) to gain more time, traveling while he does so and observing life.
Why Watch it Today?: Acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was born today in 1918. The Seventh Seal was one of Bergman’s most acclaimed and influential films, featuring Max von Sydow’s first lead role in a film, a star-making turn and his first of many collaborations with Bergman.
Other Choices: Wild Strawberries; Hour of the Wolf
And his best…though I think I’m required to say that or they’ll take away my Movie Critic License.
For me I think its currently a toss-up between this film and Wild Strawberries, which I loved when I saw-both films moved me. I’ve seen, and was disappointed deeply by, Persona; Virgin Spring was interesting, one of those films I should re-watch, same with Hour of the Wolf which I’d love to watch late on a cold Fall evening. Then of course there is The Serpent and the Egg which is a totally odd film that’s halfway between his usual output and some kind of sleazy early 70s Euro-horror/paranoia film, but I figure when you let Dino De Laurentiis producer your movie…
It really is a toss-up between Seal and Wild Strawberries for me. And he made them both in the same year. Good Lord.
I think I favor whichever one I saw last. Such good movies.