"The Seventh Seal (1957)" Movie Review Essay & Film Analysis

Fruit! Tell me, whispering that night,
And about the secrets, which opened ?!
she secretly you slew,
Purple goes with your cheeks off
Fruit! Tell me, whispering that night?
'Nietzsche
Middle Ages. The most troubled time in the history of mankind. In the absence of any reliable information about the life of that era, she always gets the most diverse, sometimes contradictory interpretations. Someone sees it as a natural peak rampant passions of barbarism, universal chaos broke loose, others see the apogee of spiritual quest, absolute holiness, clean and reliable fusion of the soul with God. Are all right, for the Middle Ages, paradoxically combine the relentless struggle of opposites in a dialectical unity. In one of his most widely known films Ingmar Bergman presents his own vision of the universe, the deceased
protagonist -. Knight Antonius Block and his squire Jons return home after years of wandering in the bloody Crusades. On their faces bears the stamp of death, as a stranger, and his, which is the knight in his archetypal image from the essential attributes in a black robe, scythe and deathly pale face. Block, no fear of uninvited guests, offers death play a game of chess, and thus gain a reprieve to find answers to torment his questions about the meaning of life. Death, clearly aware of their a priori win a chance knight. Besides, it is full of other concerns, because the country has fallen plague - people are dying out entire villages. Clerics, as usual, looking for the cause in the "young witches", often innocent. Processes with a witch, and pinned to the cross meet on the way block and Jons. Knight is a true chance to penetrate the secrets of the universe - it is painfully looks into the face of the dying, but ... does not meet anything but fear and horror of the animal. Then the unit, in the deepest despair, rushes for answers to the main sanctuary of God - the Church. But there he lies in wait for disappointment, the place occupied by the high priest's death ... ... The road travelers meet a family of itinerant clowns - Joseph, his wife Maria and their son. Knight, lost in gloomy thoughts, share a meal with them. Their spiritual purity, openness to the world and an incredible love for life dispel the severe mental anguish knight who gradually begins to realize that the answers to his questions are not in the clouds, and at arm's length ...
film 'The Seventh Seal', created over thirty days, with the meager budget on the material of the play for the students of drama school at the time brought Bergman to the world cinema scene and has earned recognition not only intellectuals, but also the masses. Cause of the explosion in popularity paintings should be sought primarily in the fact that in the picture exactly caught anxiety and fear at the time. The whole world in the late fifties was under constant threat of a new nuclear war, the consequences of which would give the odds of any, even the most terrible plague in history. But Bergman goes further and link the alarm of the collective unconscious with his favorite theme of existential antinomies shower.
The image of the knight Antonius Block nested basic concept of existential philosophy at the time of the mid-twentieth century. It is possible to see the whole palette of the most diverse philosophical direction of flow - from countryman Bergman Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Sartre. Kierkegaard, as in other films Master, very much. Start with the antagonism between faith and reason, which affects Antonius Block. According to the Danish philosopher key to the truth and revelation is not in the concept or definition, but in the movement of the soul, faith, the will, which is to go contrary to rationalism, irrefutable certainty or strict principles of reality. What seems absurd situation (say, to live, to die or suffer without fault), the more sincere and passionately to be a gust of mind, sweeping away all obstacles. By this flight Knight is not ready, preferring the solid ground of rational questions and answers without wings. This questioning is bridgehead spirit penultimate stage at which the block can not descend. There is already a topic represents another philosopher (Heidegger) about the ability and the art of asking questions. German thinker believed that this is the forgotten man's ability to play a special role in existence. Most of the time we learn of a scheme already, for all practical issues for a long time have the answers. And only a metaphysical questioning about the foundation, the reason and purpose of being able to return the person to the taste of life and put it into direct (not through the prism of social role or a certain system of rules) related to the truth of things, ie, revive his soul. But, oddly enough, life itself can be revealed only in contrast with death as the best white on black emerges. This kind of border situation (which in fact is the whole movie), a favorite theme of the French philosophers - Sartre and Camus, whose plays Bergman liked to put in a theater
counterbalance reflective and spiritual suffering knight Block is a radical atheist Jons.. In my opinion, Bergman has for this character even more sympathy than a protagonist. He captivates his humanity, himself, a kind of earthiness and pragmatism. It seems that Jons voluntarily and forever renounced all speculative thought and barren wool-empty abstractions like 'God', 'eternal bliss', 'ideal'. He strongly believes only in courage, honor, courage and nobility. And at the end of the film, when death comes to fulfill his duty, Jons, unlike his master, bowed their heads in prayer, proud gazes straight into the face of the upcoming void with the words: 'The hell I kneel' (to the subject of the godless atheism Bergman will return again and again in his work).
film is grim, but the darkness has not yet Bergman besproglyaden. Salvation and hope personified in the form of itinerant actors. Theme of creativity, 'eternal game' theatricality and incessant hypocrisy occupy a special place Bergman philosophy. It is the anchor for which cling to his characters, sinking into the abyss of a world of chaos. Most accurately directed by the concept expressed in the aphorism of Nietzsche: 'Art is given to us in order not to die from reality (!)'. The 'Seventh Seal' roving performers even onomaticheski (wearing the notorious names of Mary and Joseph) represent the path to salvation. A scene in which the unit partakes in the meadow strawberry (natural reference to the lightest film Bergman's 'Wild Strawberries') and all can be interpreted as a kind of rite of 'communion' to the highest truth.
impossible to exhaust the whole variety of ideological developments and semantic twists and turns of the film . However, the main feature of it in my mind that here (as in other films directed) failed to demonstrate a purely personal, existential problems in the coordinates of universality, universal humanity and total openness. Perhaps this is why there is a sense of belonging and purification after Bergman's films, as if someone was able to understand you better than you know yourself, and forgive all.

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