Sunday, August 08, 2010

Playing Chess With Death

Among other things, this summer has allowed me to watch a crazy amount of movies, new and old. Outside of the same big summer movies everybody else has seen and some other art-house flicks, I've had the chance to catch some classics, like Annie Hall, for the first time, and rewatch some others. On a whim, I got the chance to see the classic Ingmar Bergman film The Seventh Seal and my oh my...

First, let me say that I can't usually bang with black and white movies. It prolly has something to do with my latent ADHD which is really just my cockamamie excuse for saying I'm too lazy to pay attention, but I needs some color when I'm watching the telly. I don't care how good you tell me a movie is, if I find out it's black and white then you've lost a potential viewer. I've seen the movie a few times on the shelf of the video library and thought about renting it, but I could never bring myself to pull the trigger. The subject matter--a knight returns from the Crusades during the Black Death and runs into Death himself, whom he challenges to a winner-takes-all game of chess--was a little too heavy for me to endure in my leisure time, especially sans ROY G. BIV.

Well, absolute boredom and an existential crisis can do wonders for your palate. I saw it was available one night while flipping through OnDemand's free movies and figured it was worth a shot. It was. It definitely was. By the end of the opening scene I was hooked. If you wanna sit down and watch something that makes you think without broadcasting the fact that it's making you think, this is the one. At its essence it captures the spiritual struggles of mankind perfectly.

This clip is one of my favorite scenes as the knight, unknowingly, makes his confession to Death. It cuts off early, but if it piqued your interest, then make it do what it does and go find the whole movie.

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