The Trial

  • Orson Welles /
  • France, Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia /
  • 1962 /
  • 118 mins

Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli, Suzanne Flon, Orson Welles, Akim Tamiroff, Madeleine Robinson / Fiction / English

Orson Welles’ unforgettably stylish take on the classic by Franz Kafka.

?An important working relationship commenced when Welles cast Jeanne Moreau in this spiky, nightmarish take on Franz Kafka’s classic novel. The director would go on to work with her a further three times, and would refer to her as “the greatest actress in the world.” Co-starring here with Anthony Perkins – fresh from his legendary turn in Psycho – Moreau plays the lady of the night who dwells next door to the mysteriously maligned Josef K, about whom someone must have been telling lies ... Josef’s paranoid, tormented interior landscape is given extraordinary visual life by the film’s labyrinthine design: shot in the Gare d’Orsay in Paris between its closure as a train station and its rebirth as a museum, the film obeys a surreal, Escher-esque physical logic. Its theme of unexplained persecution and guilt foisted on ordinary citizens by capricious regimes, meanwhile, remains as piercingly relevant as ever.

2008 Archive

Image from The Trial

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