Search This Blog

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Trial (1962)

A government bureaucrat (Anthony Perkins) in what appears to be a totalitarian state is placed under an open arrest by the authorities. But he is never told what his crime is or what he is being accused of and thus begins a nightmarish journey to fight the corrupt system and clear his name. Based on the classic novel by Franz Kafka and adapted for the screen and directed by Orson Welles. This is a remarkable film and stands with Welles' best work. Filmed in (what was then) Yugoslavia in B&W, Welles and his ace cinematographer Edmond Richard (DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE) and art director Jean Mandaroux have created a nightmarish landscape of shadows and light, ominous architecture and an unsettling atmosphere of paranoia. I would have preferred it if Welles had kept the ending of Kafka's novel rather than the slight change but that's a minor quibble. Perkins is letter perfect in the role, his anxious demeanor practically screaming out guilt and since we never find out what his crime is can we be sure of his innocence? Welles considered THE TRIAL his best film and I'm not about to put up an argument. The large cast includes (in addition to Welles himself): Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Akim Tamiroff, Elsa Martinelli, Michael Lonsdale, Suzanne Flon and William Chappell.

No comments:

Post a Comment