The Movie: The Seventh Seal (1957)
What Is It?: During the black plague, the knight Antonius (Max von Sydow) sits down to a game of chess against Death with his life at stake. Ingmar Bergman never gets so bogged down in existential philosophizing that he doesn’t take the time to construct sympathetic, interesting, and eccentric characters. The cinematography, emphasizing desolately grey skies and a roiling, foreboding sea, is as rich and haunting as the constantly looming specter of Death is both sinister and oddly soothing.
Why Today?: Today is 7/17. That’s plenty of sevens.