Music in the Dark
(Musik i mörker)
(Night Is My Future)
Mai Zetterling, Birger Malmsten, Bengt Eklund, Olof Winnwestrand,
Still waiting for a financial success after four tries, Bergman took on a film story meant to guarantee a profit—or rather, more or less constrained to do so. To the relief of his producer, this film actually was a modest success. The conventional storyline relates the developing relationship between Bengt, a young musician blinded in an accident during his military service, and Ingrid, a lower-class servant girl in the home of Bengt’s parents. In A Ship Bound for India, blindness is a minor motif; here it is developed into a full-blown psychological study and metaphor for youthful angst. The feverish dream sequence after the initial accident is particularly vivid and striking, especially given the cinematic constraints inherent in depicting a blind person’s subjective experience. Bergman’s restless early experimentation with different styles here includes the classic Hitchcock conceit of filming himself in cameo; look for a young Bergman as a passenger on the train at the end of the film.