Orson Welles’ woefully underrated Kafka adaptation sees a guilt-ridden man struggling to prove his innocence in an apocalyptic world.
France-Italy-West Germany 1962
Dir Orson Welles
With Anthony Perkins, Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider
Welles’ dazzlingly inventive re-imagining of Kafka’s novel has Perkins perfectly cast as the neurotic, guilt-ridden Josef K, feebly defending himself against charges that remain frustratingly vague and seemingly insuperable. The bravura mise-en-scène, making nightmarishly vivid use of epic locations, suggests it’s not just the hapless protagonist who’s in turmoil, but the world itself. A darkly brilliant, scarily witty vision of apocalyptic entropy.