The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal

First watched almost exactly 5 years ago, first time I ever lived on my own, my first Bergman and more or less my first old black and white European art film. It was Bergman and Kurosawa in particular, my library was well stocked with those two, that I focused on when I first wanted to start expanding my horizons beyond whatever the hell and rotten tomatoes was telling me was new and cool that week. I quickly lost interest in the latter, samurais aren't really my jam, but as much as I struggled almost equally with the former, I knew that there was something there drawing me in. Before I had a clue what actual slow cinema was, these films felt like the most laxly paced and challenging pieces of art there could possibly be, and relative to glossy modern filmmaking they even seemed downright badly constructed at times, but still I kept coming back nonetheless. I'm not even really sure why, was I just trying to convince myself that I was more cultured and intellectual than I actually am, or was I just busy drooling over all the milky Swedish babes?

(Seriously, I bet you can't name another director with a consistently bigger gap in sexyness between their casts and their subject matter. Sure beautiful women in arthouse fare is hardly a radical concept, but on average the doods are by contrast ugly as sin, most definitely not the case here. Obviously you've got studs like Max von Sydow and Gunnar Björnstrand, but even Death just looks like a hot cosplay of Marty Feldman in ''Young Frankenstein''.*)

uhhh, anyway...

So I really can't say for sure how I got from point A to B, but today Bergman is one of my absolute favourite filmmakers, as far as dudes that old go probably my #1. I don't like to think it's a case of forcing oneself to enjoy something (don't really believe that's possible, actually), it's just that acclimating yourself to foreign sensibilities takes actual work, I remember the first few short 60 minute silent films I ever watched felt like longer and more punishing ordeals than ''The Deer Hunter'', but I think it's super important to always at least try and not keep yourself stuck in the same old bubble all your life. 5 short years ago I was thinking this relatively brief (96 minutes!) film was the be all and end all of turgid arthouse miserablism, watching it now the main thought that crossed my mind was ''Mhhhh, I don't remember this having such strong Looney Tunes vibes, who knew!''.

*please don't make me be the one to google if there's any erotic Bergman fan art out there, I'm at work fer chrissakes...

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