Classic films. You see the lists. You think, ‘Yeah, I’ve been meaning to watch that’. But classics aren’t films you can just sit and watch, they’re films you watch. Or so the film critics say. But what never gets said about classis is that they’re entertainment too. Sure, they’re serious, they’re works of art, but never do they get called ‘entertainment’. These films are so important that have to be taken seriously. Nobody ever tells you that you’re supposed to enjoy watching them.
So here are four classics that film critics won’t tell you are fun to watch:
1. The Seventh Seal (1957)
dir. Ingmar Bergman
The Reputation: The film is seen as ‘the’ art-house, world cinema film. A weary knight (Max Von Sydow) who has lost his faith in God returns from the crusades to a plague ridden homeland. The knight encounters Death, but challenges him to a chess match for his life.
Why It’s More Fun Than It Sounds: It’s a road movie across medieval Sweden. Like all road movie, the weary protagonist encounters strange, funny folk along the way. While the knight deals with the serious, existential matters, the supporting cast get all the comedy. There’s the band of travelling players, with an arrogant actor who runs off with a buxom wench, only to be caught by her simpleton husband, so the actor does the ol’ knife-under-the-arm fake death to get out of it.
While The Seventh Seal deals with some big subject, Ingmar Bergman has enough sense to make the film an enjoyable trip, with the supporting characters, like the naïve juggler Jof, and the sarcastic squire Jons, keeping the balance the drama and the comedy. Not only that, but Death is a funny and oddly likeable character.
This article was first posted on September 18, 2012