Wednesday 15 May – your chance to see one of the best films ever made

Ingmar Bergman‘s dark masterpiece, The Seventh Seal reaches back to scripture to create a nightmarish, episodic journey for Max von Sydow’s world-weary crusader, questioning everything while the long shadow of death chases him all the way home.

Regularly cited as one of the best films ever made, its credentials put it beyond the reach of objective criticism, but there is no denying the power and intensity of its evocation of grim, plague- riddled, medieval life, or the degree to which its central motifs have bled into popular culture. Woody Allen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monty Python have all doffed a respectful hat to the unsettling sight of Gunnar Björnstrand’s figure of death. It’s also fabulous to look at, with a newly minted print showing off Gunnar Fischer’s cinematography to stunning effect.

It’s not a film in a hurry, and while there are fragmentary moments of levity, this is (after all) a study in the pointlessness of existence. The movie fearlessly addresses the need to believe, but also the difficulty in believing, in a God who remains silent. While we cannot expect it to provide answers, it does leave you with questions that will haunt you for days.

David Vass