DET SJUNDE INSEGLET(THE SEVENTH SEAL)
A knight, Antonius Block, and his squire Jöns return disillusioned from the Crusades to the hysteria of plague-infested fourteenth-century Sweden. On the shore Block encounters Death and, in one of the most effective reverse-angle exchanges ever filmed, challenges him to a game of chess, playing for time to perform one significant act in life. What is timeless about this existential passion play is the humanity of its characters, who seem to shun allegory like a kind of narrative death: Block, whom the Crusades took away from the real-the only proof of God – to the abstract, and torment; Jöns, cynical sensualist who articulates the void; Death himself, a picture of inconclusiveness; and the dreamer Jof and his wild-strawberry wife, actors traveling into light.
Year of production: 1957