Saturday, January 9, 2010

Seventh Seal and Dog

So, today was pretty much a terrible day. Sheik, the lovely, dopey, goofy, cross-eyed, sweet dog I got in Alaska and later gave to my parents, was diagnosed with leukemia about a week before Christmas. The past few days he needed to be carried up and down stairs, and pooping took enough energy that he just fell over into the snow afterwards. So today my parents took him to the vet and had him put to sleep. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time crying and cuddling with my two dogs who are thankfully in good health (except for the mysterious oozing wound on Puck's back). The good news is, I made a delicious risotto with shrimp and leeks and spinach, drank too much wine, and had s'mores for dessert. I also watched the Seventh Seal.

I first became interested in this film over ten years ago, after reading "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" by Gorman Bechard. I loved that book as a teenager. It's about the daughter of God, and it's basically about how cool liberals are and how Christianity has completely skewed the word of God, and how everybody should just be nice to each other, which is pretty much how I feel about things. The Seventh Seal features prominently in that book (I think. There is a slight probability I am confusing this book with a different one, but I'm 99% percent sure I'm right. A brief internet search neither verified nor proved me wrong), but for some reason I never got around to watching it. So tonight I changed that.

For some reason I always imagined the film as Japanese, but it's quite Scandinavian. I have no idea where I got that Japanese perception from. In general, it was pretty different than what I expected. I thought it would be more overtly philosophical, that there would be more conversations with death over a chess board. But it actually told a story (of sorts), following the main characters, and having others join them in their journey. There were several funny moments and memorable lines. It didn't make me think as deeply as I was expected, which in my current state of mind is probably a good thing. But, it expressed the absurdity of life, the certainty of death, and the futility of zealotry. It also recommends killing your women while the relationship is still fun, in order to avoid all the crap that will inevitably come. So, if you're looking for all that, I'd recommend giving The Seventh Seal a whirl. It was a far cry from what I expected, but in a good way.

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