The Trial. 1962. France/West Germany. Directed by Orson Welles. Written by Welles, based on the novel by Franz Kafka. With Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Orson Welles, Elsa Martinelli, Michel Lonsdale. DCP. Restored in 4K by Studiocanal and the Cinémathèque Française, with the support of Chanel, from the original 35mm negative at L’image Retrouvée. 119 min.
In Welles’s free, but faithful, adaptation of the Kafka novel, Anthony Perkins’s Josef K. is accused of an unspecified crime and shambles through a series of bizarre encounters in an attempt to clear his name in the face of a hellish bureaucracy. Welles once called this the best film he ever made—and the first since Citizen Kane to be released as he intended. “A frenzy of Expressionist images…burst through the screen to evoke an oppressively incomprehensible system of edicts and constraints. And who better to reveal the system’s evil genius than Welles, the golden boy turned Hollywood martyr?” (Richard Brody).