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The Trial

(Le procès)
France/Italy/West Germany 1962. Dir: Orson Welles. 118 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION!Orson Welles’s audacious adaptation of Kafka was dear to his heart — “the best film I have ever made,” he called it in 1962 — and was the first work since Citizen Kane over which he exercised complete artistic control. Shot in communist Zagreb and in Paris’s then-deserted Gare d’Orsay, with Anthony Perkins as persecuted bureaucrat Joseph K., the apocalyptic film filters Kafka’s Expressionist nightmare through film noir, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust. Now widely esteemed, it initially met with a divided reception; English-language critics viewed it as disappointment, while Europeans hailed it as a baroque, labyrinthine masterpiece. The cast includes Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider. The Welles-narrated prologue, an illustration of Kafka's parable “Before the Law,” features the pinscreen animation of Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker.


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REVIEWS

"The Trial is splendid to look at and teeming with ideas about the individual, society, and of course, film itself."

Village Voice | full review

"Orson Welles's nightmarish, labyrinthine comedy of 1962 remains his creepiest and most disturbing work; it's also a lot more influential than people usually admit."

Chicago Reader | full review

"The blackest of Welles' comedies."

Time Out | full review