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[personal profile] donutjay
Watched The Seventh Seal last night, a subtitled 1950's Swedish movie about god and death in the black plague. It's considered to be a classic and includes the much copied scene of someone playing chess with death for their life. I particularly liked it when Bill and Ted played Battleship and Twister with death.

Summary:
A Mediaeval knight plays chess with death as a plague ravages the countryside, laying waste to peasant and noble alike. He is trying to discern whether or not God exists before he dies. But he can only delay the Reaper as long as the game continues, and meanwhile he walks the land meeting people who inform his speculations.

The title refers to the New Testament and Revelations. With people dying by the boatload due to the plague, the end of the world didn't seem to far off.

My opinions of the movie: I think I'll need to see it again. There's a lot of symbolism and deeper meaning in each scene, which of course means we were sitting there scratching our heads and going what the hell. It was slow moving but not boring. There are some striking images that I'm still thinking about. It's more stilted and less realistic than modern day movies. It was thought-provoking, visually interesting, and was well balanced between humor and drama. I enjoyed it without fully understanding it. Damn movies with multiple layers.

Recommendation: Watch, but only if you realize it's an allegory and not an attempt at realism. Well written, acted, and filmed, it's a movie that will stay with you if you let it.
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donutjay

July 2008

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