The Seventh Seal
One of the great figures of world cinema, Ingmar Bergman is the definitive example of the film artist. He has usually written his own scripts and gradually assembled a team of performers and technicians who carry out his wishes to the letter. Since he established his international reputation with a trio of masterly films in the fifties—Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries—he has enjoyed almost complete freedom. It's as though throughout his career he has been making one continuous film, personal and autobiographical, a diary of dreams, damnations and desires. Bergman's genius has been to render from this private contemplation a miraculously public text. His sense of the dramatic, his command of his players, his mesmeric storytelling, all have been combined to display an anguish in which everyone can share. No other filmmaker has so obsessively, so intelligently or so openly analysed what it has been like to live on this planet since the second world war.
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