"Then life is a preposterous horror..."
Description: Bleak words spoken by Antonius Block, a Knight playing chess with The Grim Reaper (Death) in the classic Swedish film The Seventh Seal (1957).
Set during the Black Plague, this Swedish film follows the journey of Antonius Block (Max von Sydow), a Knight returning from the Crusades who is approached by Death (Benqt Ekerot) who proclaims: "Nothing escapes me. No one escapes me."
|Antonius Block:||Who are you?|
|Death:||I am Death.|
|Antonius Block:||Have you come for me?|
|Death:||I have long walked by your side.|
|Antonius Block:||So I have noticed.|
|Death:||Are you ready?|
|Antonius Block:||My body is ready, but I am not.|
The Knight takes a gamble and challenges The Grim Reaper to a game of chess for his life. As the Knight and Death play their game, the rest of the world carries on amidst the scourge and suffering of the Black Death that is wreaking havoc on Medieval Europe.
|Antonius Block:||I want knowledge! Not faith, not assumptions, but knowledge. I want God to stretch out His hand, uncover His face and speak to me.|
|Death:||But He remains silent.|
|Antonius Block:||I call out to Him in the darkness. But it's as if no one was there.|
|Death:||Perhaps there isn't anyone.|
|Antonius Block:||Then life is a preposterous horror. No man can live faced with Death, knowing everything's nothingness.|
|Death:||Most people think neither of death nor nothingness.|
|Antonius Block:||But one day you stand at the edge of life and face darkness.|
|Antonius Block:||I understand what you mean.|
This is my hand. I can turn it. The blood is still running in it. The sun is still in the sky and the wind is blowing. And I... I, Antonius Block, play chess with Death" - Antonius Block
"Love is the blackest of all plagues... if one could die of it, there would be some pleasure in love, but you don't die of it." - Jöns, Block's Squire
"It's hell with women, and hell without. Best to kill them all while the fun lasts." - Jöns, Block's Squire
"The actor! Now I understand. There are too many of them, so even if he hasn’t done anything in particular, you ought to kill him merely because he’s an actor.” - Opinion of Jof, upon hearing the wife of friend ran off with an actor.
Note: The iconic image of The Grim Reaper as appears in The Seventh Seal (1957) is spoofed in the motion picture Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey(1991) as teenagers Ted "Theordore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) romp through Hell and Heaven with The Grim Reaper (William Sadler) as the boys find themselves dead ("You totally killed us, you evil metal dickweeds!") and must outwit Death to return to the land of the living, so they can rescue their "babes" from their evil metal Dopplegangers and attend a most important Battle of the Bands.