42. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
My first Bergman, and despite the cool poster of a skeleton riding a checkerboard, somewhat underwhelming.
As I mentioned in my post on “Ordet“, I am/was quite religious(still a bit undecided on where I am now), and this film is pretty much indebted to the Christian interpretation of the world. Having seen a good chunk of both Dreyer‘s and Bergman’s work, I find that I can’t think of one without the other. And I think I like Dreyer’s work more.
I like that Dreyer’s work leaves things hanging. Bergman I find tries to make sense of things a bit too much, and seems preoccupied with exposing the hypocrisy of the church. I find Bergman to be focused on existentialism, and the inherent futility of the pursuit of understanding. Dreyer seems willing to narrow his focus to the church, and to good and evil. I like Dreyer’s work because it is so willing to explore the world, without passing such dreadful judgment upon it. I always get the sense that Dreyer is somehow willing to believe in something bigger than himself, while Bergman simply can’t comprehend any world view other than his own. Essentially God doesn’t give a shit, and life is meaningless.
I do like some of Bergman’s work, but I like Dreyer’s treatment of God, Religion, and life more. Dreyer just seems less cynical than Bergman, perhaps more willing to accept the role of faith and religion in life, whereas Bergman just wants to cast it aside.
I realize that both men were essentially agnostic, but somehow I admire Dreyer’s films for their willingness to accept religion as a part of life, where I find myself unable to relate to much of Bergman’s work for it’s dismissal of religion. Also I like Connect Four more than chess, maybe if Bergman used that I would have felt it more.
this realization is somewhat ironic given my current agnosticism, but for whatever reason I admire Dreyer’s seeming willingness to tackle religion as opposed to Bergman’s seeming dismissal of it.
On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 6/10. It just didn’t resonate with me, and felt disjointed. I think I like Bergman’s treatment of life, moreso than his treatment of religion.