For many Bergman’s most iconic work, The Seventh Seal is a parable on religion and mortality. When the knight Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) and his squire Jöns (Gunner Björnstrand) return home from the Crusades, they find Death, literally, waiting at the shore. The Black Plague-rotted landscape offers the perfect stage for a secular miracle play. Man and Death exchange debate over the symbolically weighty chessboard, with the apocalypse of the world at stake. Perhaps Bergman’s centerpiece as a philosopher of the cinema, the film provides an expressionistic, decidedly Scandinavian counterpoint to the stylized dreamscapes of Buñuel or Fellini. Special Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival. In Swedish with English subtitles.