By Franz Kafka.
The 1962 film is a brilliant adaptation of Kafka’s existentialist novel by Orson Wells. Kafka grew up in the Germany and Bohemia of the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Kafka was, at various times a self-declared anarchist, socialist, Zionist and atheist. His literature and his actual existence have become an integral part of Western literature and, to some extent, our life.
The story of this film I recently viewed is a monochrome rendition of the final months of life of a mid-range bank executive. Remember that the films period predates computers so bank records were typed by clerks in a large room. The scene is impressive.
Anthony Perkins plays Josef K, accused of an unspecified crime and follows his increasingly desperate attempts to learn what he is accused of, how he will be tried, who will be his advocate and what is the goal of all the people who seem to have some fingers in the pie, strangers who appear and disappear, almost as if in a dream.
The dark film in incredibly visually complex sets can be seen as an indictment of the judicial system, a slap at society in general and a criticism of socially disconnected individuals. It follows Josef through more and more difficult attempts to learn the crime he’s accused of and who his legal advocate is to be. Josef is a strong, character, articulate, mostly even tempered but ultimately succumbs to the alarming complex and uncaring society which he cannot leave.
THE TRIAL has interesting views of a growing industrial society and may offer some viewers an alarming insight into our modern society.