The Trial. 1962. France/Italy/West Germany. Directed by Orson Welles. Screenplay by Pierre Cholot. Based on the novel by Franz Kafka. With Anthony Perkins, Arnoldo Foà, Jess Hahn. DCP. 119 min.
Welles adapted Franz Kafka’s tale of a man caught up in an escalating cycle of bureaucratic alienation with a suitably disorienting, avant-garde, improvisational style that initially challenged viewers, but has since risen significantly in critical esteem. “I may be in the minority, but I find The Trial as remarkable and rewatchable as any of the other Welles masterpieces. It has the impromptu, guerrilla spirit of his later work and the meticulous, etching-like compositions in black and white that crown Citizen Kane or his Shakespearean masterpieces. I love the casting of Anthony Perkins and the ’60s, oddly Fellini-esque rhythms of the narrative” (Guillermo del Toro).