2010-01-16 15:47:16 UTC
No single film of the art-house era (c.1956-68) exerted as great an
influence on so many directors and critics as did "The Seventh Seal."
From Woody Allen to Walter Murch, from Philip Kaufman to RichardCorliss, these individuals remember the night they saw Ingmar
Bergman's masterpiece as vividly as they recall the death of Marilyn
Monroe or the assassination of JFK.
Bergman was just shy of 38 years old when he began shooting the
picture on a modest budget during the summer of 1956. An unexpected
prize for "Smiles of a Summer Night" at the Cannes Festival that
spring had prompted Svensk Filmindustri to greenlight this project
that Bergman had cherished for some time and that stemmed from a
one-act play he had written. Bergman's production designer, P.A.
Lundgren, managed to create a convincing medieval milieu on the
studio's tiny backlot outside Stockholm. Only a fraction of the film
was shot on location—the opening on the beach, the scene on the
hillside where the Knight eats strawberries and cream with his
companions, and the final "dance of death." Gunnar Fischer's
monochrome cinematography abounds with images that have acquired
iconic status, while the film's visual impact relies not on special
effects but costumes and props...
"The Seventh Seal" Criterion Blu-ray customer reviews: