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The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal

Update: 2023-10-196
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In the 1000th edition of In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss arguably the most celebrated film of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). It begins with an image that, once seen, stays with you for the rest of your life: the figure of Death playing chess with a Crusader on the rocky Swedish shore. The release of this film in 1957 brought Bergman fame around the world. We see Antonius Block, the Crusader, realising he can’t beat Death but wanting to prolong this final game for one last act, without yet knowing what that act might be. As he goes on a journey through a plague ridden world, his meeting with a family of jesters and their baby offers him some kind of epiphany.

With

Jan Holmberg
Director of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, Stockholm

Claire Thomson
Professor of Cinema History and Director of the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London

And

Laura Hubner
Professor of Film at the University of Winchester

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Reading list:

Alexander Ahndoril (trans. Sarah Death), The Director (Granta, 2008)

Ingmar Bergman (trans. Marianne Ruuth), Images: My Life in Film (Faber and Faber, 1995)

Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography (Viking, 1988)

Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), The Best Intentions (Vintage, 2018)

Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), Sunday’s Children (Vintage, 2018)

Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), Private Confessions (Vintage, 2018)

Stig Björkman, Torsten Manns and Jonas Sima (trans. Paul Britten Austin), Bergman on Bergman: Interviews with Ingmar Bergman (Da Capo Press, 1993)

Melvyn Bragg, The Seventh Seal: BFI Film Classics (British Film Institute, 1993)

Paul Duncan and Bengt Wanselius (eds.), The Ingmar Bergman Archives (Taschen/Max Ström, 2018)

Erik Hedling (ed.), Ingmar Bergman: An Enduring Legacy (Lund University Press, 2021)

Laura Hubner, The Films of Ingmar Bergman: Illusions of Light and Darkness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Daniel Humphrey, Queer Bergman: Sexuality, Gender, and the European Art Cinema (University of Texas Press, 2013)

Maaret Koskinen (ed.), Bergman Revisited: Performance, Cinema, and the Arts (Wallflower Press, 2008)

Selma Lagerlöf (trans. Peter Graves), The Phantom Carriage (Norvik Press, 2011)

Mariah Larsson and Anders Marklund (eds.), Swedish Film: An Introduction and Reader (Nordic Academic Press, 2010)

Paisley Livingston, Ingmar Bergman and the Rituals of Art (Cornell University Press, 2019)

Birgitta Steene (ed.), Focus on The Seventh Seal (Prentice Hall, 1972)

Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide (Amsterdam University Press, 2014)

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The Seventh Seal

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