May 21, 1957

CANNES FESTIVAL: Cannes, May 18 – Although the Cannes Film Festival is over and the judges have ended their deliberations by announcing the prize winners, it would be unfair not to mention two films screened at the last minute – one Swedish and the other Spanish – since the former, in order to satisfy the wishes of one of the critics, was awarded a special prize. The film in question was «The Seventh Seal,» directed by the outstanding Ingmar Bergman, which was the subject of much discussion at the festival. This film, as well as Spain’s «Faustina» directed by Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia, led to incidents when the festival administration insisted that they be screened early in the afternoon. Both Ingmar Bergman and the Spanish crew wanted to withdraw, but eventually a compromise was reached. The film was enthusiastically received and many suggested that it should have received the prize for pioneering cinema. Bergman’s scenario was based on a medieval legend with strong metaphysical overtones, in which the tragic and the comic elements continually alternate.