Ingmar Bergman has always been concerned with a precise depiction of the social background of his figures, but Musik i mörker is nevertheless one of his very few films in which class differences play a central role.
In this adaptation of the novel of the same name by Dagmar Edqvist, Bengt Vyldeke (Birger Malmsten), son of an upper-class family, is doing his military service when he is accidentally shot and blinded. This is particularly tragic for Bengt, who is a highly talented pianist. He stays with his resolute Aunt Beatrice, where a lower-class girl affectionately takes care of him: Ingrid Olofsson (Mai Zetterling), who has had almost no education and can barely read aloud to him. Bengt has also been thrown back in his development and has to start all over learning to play the piano and read Braille. Bengt and Ingrid become very much attached to each other until she hears how he makes a derogatory remark about her when his Aunt mentions the topic of marriage …
In this early work Bergman is already searching for innovative images, such as in the nightmarish scene in the hospital before Bengt awakens: human arms try to pull him down into the mud and he floats through a kind of aquarium. The plot focuses on the psychological condition of the two protagonists, who have to develop in opposite directions before they can come together again. –Berlinale
The most famed and honored filmmaker ever to emerge from the nation of Sweden – and regarded by many as one of the three or four most brilliant directors of the 20th century – Ingmar Bergman radically altered the nature and meaning of the motion-picture form, transfiguring a medium long devoted to spectacle into an art capable of profoundly personal meditations into the myriad struggles facing the psyche and the soul. By focusing on the exploration of self with unparalleled intensity, Bergman brought to the screen a new sense of emotional intimacy, fusing the concepts behind Freudian psychotherapy with a dreamlike sensibility founded on visual metaphors, flashbacks, and extreme close-ups to create a revelatory cinematic world unlike any before it.
Born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918, in Uppsala, Sweden, he followed a brief 1938 military stay by attending Stockholm University. While there, he staged his first plays, among them adaptations of Macbeth, August Strindberg’s… read more