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'The Trial' (1962)
Directed by Orson Welles

Watched the new 4K Disc which is just stunning in terms of image quality and does Edmond Richard’s beautiful photography justice. Orson Welles filmed it in the former Yugoslavia with many shots including parallel lines of architecture and shadows. In later shots, clearly drawing from his love of German expressionism in terms of visuals, there are rooms filled with cracks and crates and spikes which seem to pay homage to the likes of Cabinet of Dr Caligari. However the audio wasn’t great, perhaps because Welles dubbed many of the international cast into English and the sync of the dialogue was out in most scenes.

The film is obviously the definition of ‘Kafkaesque’, as we enter a paranoid, disorienting nightmare faced by the main character Josef K (Anthony Perkins). Josef is accused of a crime by the police, who may or not be the police, but he’s not told what the crime is. He stumbles into various characters and into his own trial but gets more confused as the film goes on. Unfortunately I got more confused too. It’s difficult to follow at times and challenges the viewer with long scenes of profound dialogue, especially in the middle of the film.

The ending though is truly superb and must surely have inspired many films from ‘Being John Malkovich’ to ‘The Truman Show’ and everything in between. I will re-watch this film at some point to try and focus on the dialogue more than the beautiful photography, which may reveal more.