The Seventh Seal (1957)
Antonius Block: Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one's senses? Why does he hide in a cloud of half-promises and unseen miracles? How can we believe in the faithful when we lack faith? What will happen to us who want to believe, but can not? What about those who neither want to nor can believe? Why can't I kill God in me? Why does He live on in me in a humiliating way - despite my wanting to evict Him from my heart? Why is He, despite all, a mocking reality I can't be rid of?
Antonius Block: We must make an idol of our fear, and call it god.
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.
Death: That day.
Antonius Block: I understand what you mean.
Antonius Block: I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I shall try to remember our talk. I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign to me, and a great sufficiency.
Antonius Block: I want to confess as best I can, but my heart is void. The void is a mirror. I see my face and feel loathing and horror. My indifference to men has shut me out. I live now in a world of ghosts, a prisoner in my dreams.
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.
[Antonius Block lets Death choose which chess pieces to play]
Antonius Block: You drew black.
Death: Appropriate, don't you think?
Antonius Block: 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: Faith is a torment. It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call.
Mia: You don't look so happy.
Antonius Block: No.
Mia: Are you tired?
Antonius Block: Yes. I have boring company.
Mia: You mean your squire?
Antonius Block: No, not him.
Mia: Who do you mean, then?
Antonius Block: Myself.
Jöns: Love is as contagious as a cold. It eats away at your strength, morale... If everything is imperfect in this world, love is perfect in its imperfection.
Blacksmith Plog: You're happy, you with your oily words. You believe your own twaddle.
Jöns: Believe it? Who said? But I love to give pieces of advice.
Jöns: 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.
Antonius Block: They say you have consorted with the devil?
Witch: Why do you ask that?
Antonius Block: It's not out of curiosity, but because of utterly personal reasons. I would also like to meet him.
Antonius Block: I want to ask him about God. He must know. He, if anyone.
Death: Don't you ever stop asking?
Antonius Block: No. I never stop.
Death: But you're not getting an answer.
[Death approaches Antonius Block]
Antonius Block: Wait a moment.
Death: You all say that. But I grant no reprieves.
[the church painter explains why he is painting a mural about death]
Church Painter: Why should one always make people happy? It might be a good idea to scare them once in a while.
Jöns: Then they'll close their eyes and refuse to look.
Church Painter: They'll look. A skull is more interesting than a naked woman.
Jöns: If you do scare them...
Church Painter: Then they think.
Jöns: And then?
Church Painter: They'll become more scared.
Jöns: It's hell with women and hell without women. No matter how you reason it seems like the logic thing to do is to kill them while it's still fun.
Blacksmith Plog: Bickering and swill!
Jöns: Screaming babies and diapers full of piss!
Blacksmith Plog: Sharp nails and malice!
Jöns: Scuffle, fits and the devil's aunt as a mother in law!
Blacksmith Plog: And then when you're going to sleep...
Jöns: Then they change they're tune!
Blacksmith Plog: Tears, complaints and wailing to high heaven!
Jöns: "Why won't you kiss me good night?"...
Blacksmith Plog: "Why won't you sing a song?"...
Jöns: "How come you don't love me like when we first met?"...
Blacksmith Plog: "Why aren't you looking at my new shift?"...
Jöns: "Just turn your back and snore!"...
Blacksmith Plog: Damn it!
Jöns: Damn it! Now she's gone; Rejoice!
Death: When next we meet, the hour will strike for you and your friends.
Antonius Block: And will you reveal your secrets?
Death: I have no secrets.
Antonius Block: So do you know nothing?
Death: I am unknowing.
Antonius Block: I met Death today. We are playing chess.
[watching a young woman get burned at the stake]
Jöns: Who will take care care of that child? Is it the angels or God or Satan or the emptiness? The emptiness, Sire?
Antonius Block: It can't be so!
Blacksmith Plog: Hey Jöns, purely confidential, isn't life quite...?
Jöns: [interrupts Plog] Yes, it is... but don't think about that now.
Blacksmith Plog: [to himself] It's ludicrous, that's what it is.
[Jonas Skat is in a tree which Death is cutting down]
Jonas Skat: Hey, you scurvy knave, what are you doing with my tree? You might at least answer. Who are you?
Death: I'm felling your tree. Your time is up.
Jonas Skat: You can't. I haven't time.
Death: So you haven't time?
Jonas Skat: No. My performance...
Death: Cancelled... because of Death.
[In response to Death coming for him]
Jonas Skat: Is there no exemption for actors?
Jöns: Our crusade was such madness that only a real idealist could have thought it up.
Jöns: But feel, to the very end, the triumph of being alive!
Jöns: Between a scarlet woman's knees, a man like me can take his ease.
Jöns: Do you have any brandy? I've had nothing but water. It's made me as thirsty as a camel in the desert.
Jöns: It's hell with women, and hell without. Best to kill them all while the fun lasts.