“I want God to put out his hand, show his face, speak to me. I cry out to him in the dark but there is no one there...” Gloriously impervious to every tiresome parody, Ingmar Bergman’s apocalyptic allegory still packs an unstoppable metaphysical wallop in its 50th year. Trembling with unforgettable imagery, incredible intensity and an oft-forgotten trickle of grim humour, it remains Bergman’s most accessible film and the perfect invite to his seven-decade dance with death. The 39-year-old Swede had been directing for 10 years when he finally hit his game with this tale of a shattered 14th-century knight (Max von Sydow), who challenges the Reaper to a game of chess for his soul and traipses plague-ravaged Europe on a search for faith in God. Guaranteed to thunder on the big screen.
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