The Seventh Seal

It's hard to form coherent, well-thought out sentences when you just want to go to bed early for once. Ingmar Bergman is a little confusing, and it takes me a while to process movies like the one I watched earlier tonight, his 1957 film The Seventh Seal. I feel like I need a few days to think about it, to try to learn about and understand some of the references and allusions I didn't get. Because I need longer to think about this movie, coupled with my need for sleep, this blog will probably stay short. Not because I didn't like the movie, but I don't know what to say about it yet!

Ebert starts off his essay by mentioning that Bergman's The Seventh Seal seems to be out of fashion now. I guess I agree, because despite having heard a lot about other Bergman films, I've never heard about this one. I've never seen the parodies or homages that he mentions, and I can't recall a point where I remember someone saying that they have seen it. Maybe Bergman is...too smart. It's the only thing that was off-putting to me about this movie. I didn't really grow up religious way that lead me to read the bible or understand passages out of it. I get lost when I have to look for biblical references in literature or films, and I have trouble comprehending them. It's just not part of my life or mind and it's more difficult for me to understand this movie. I also feel out of the loop just because I don't have any Bergman experience. Ebert mentions that his films have a clear arc over the course of his career, so I can imagine watching them randomly out-of-order might be confusing. I wish I had the extra insight that a better Bergman knowledge might give me.

Lack of understanding aside, I really liked the imagery and feel of this movie. It is rare now for directors to make something that operates only in the psychological realm. His films are so astonishing to me just because I can't imagine having his vision. He seems like he could see such a huge concept, strange and fascinating, and bring it to life. I'm envious of people with this talent, even just people who can sit down and draw. The Seventh Seal felt like the projection of images from someone's mind - like watching someone else's thoughts or memories or dreams. I can't imagine the talent and genius that it takes to create that sort of astmosphere, but he did it. Even if I didn't understand some parts, the overall feeling of the work was incredible, and I loved just sitting back and expeirenicng it. I'm going to be happy to sit at work and think about the movie and puzzle over it, and get it stuck in my head. I like stuff like that, and I'm glad I was able to check this movie out. Maybe I'll come back to it when I have some more energy and time, and more free time to look into it. 

Alas, I have to get up early, and I don't know if I can make sense of this film yet, so I'm going to pass out. Must be awake for work in the morning and all of that nonsense.

Have any thought seen The Seventh Seal? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Ebert's Great Movie Essay on The Seventh Seal

The Shawshank Redemption

Seven Samurai