Jun 17

The Sound Barrier Podcast: 6: Der Müde Tod & The Seventh Seal

Do You See + Sound Barrier Podcast2 comments • 292 views

18839828_10154680740586868_6737598035236876209_oAh Death. May your cold embrace be delayed, but when you grasp me at least do it with the humility and grace you do in this week’s Sound Barrier podcast. For this week Peter Baran and Pamela Hutchinson discuss the recently re-released Der Müde Tod and The Seventh Seal both of whom feature Death as a lead character. How do these personifications stack up, how do Fritz Lang and Ingmar Bergman deal with this heavy material and which one is a comic masterpiece (Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey obviously). Recorded in a makeshift studio, but with all the non-makeshift opinions you expect we pit these two movies together, and the conclusion may surprise you. Listen to it over on Silent London here.

The Silent London Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher. If you like what you hear, please subscribe and leave a rating or review too. The podcast is presented in association with SOAS radio by Peter Baran and Pamela Hutchinson.


  1. 1
    Mark M on 18 Jun 2017 #

    I agree that The Seventh Seal is more fun than people are led to expect. Most early Bergman films (and I’m including TSS) are actually fairly lively, even the ones that get grim at the end. I guess the idea that his films were all terribly gloomy is partly due to stereotypes about Scandinavia, partly due to the idea that it was the influence of Bergman that made Woody Allen drop the jokes for a while (let’s not blame Bergman for anything Allen has done), and partly caused by the vibe of the later films obscuring that of the early ones.

    (Let’s not forget Scott Walker’s unusual choice to provide a plot summary in the form of a song.)

  2. 2
    Matthew Marcus on 20 Jun 2017 #

    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet but my jaw dropped at the suggestion in the above comment that The Seventh Seal is thought of some kind of po-faced arthouse film: surely only someone who hasn’t seen it, and really has no interest in it, could think it? For me its absolute cinematic greatness is in the fact that it’s equal parts light and dark, silly and deadly serious. I must admit that while I’ve enjoyed the other Bergmans I’ve watched (working my way through the Criterion Collection with Ewan; ~160 spine numbers in) none of them have matched up to The Seventh Seal so far for me, they’re often quite grim comparatively. Though Wild Strawberries is alright.

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