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Trial, The (1993)

David Jones

IK. livedin a country with a legal constitution, there was universal peace, all the laws were in force;…He had always been inclined to take things easily, to believe in the worst only when the worst happened….
Josef K. is a senior clerk at a leading Prague bank when he is arrested at his boarding house on the morning of his thirtieth birthday. No charge is specified, and he is free to carry on his life, but a shadow has appeared on the horizon. Summone to a hearing in a closed-off room in an unfamiliar part of the city, K. rails against the authority of those who have accused him, but is still left under the threat of unspecified charges.
In contrast to the alienated, early 60’s abstract urbanism o fthe Orson Welles version, David Jones’ film, scripted by Harold Pinter and shot on location in Prague and Kutna Hora sets Kafka’s story firmly in the author’s own pre-war central European milieu.
Rarely are filmic adaptations this spectacularly accomplished. The performances are superb, and the art direction, cinematography and consuming are equally outstanding. Pinter’s adapation and Jones’ establishment of a tone and vision make the story as contemporary and relevant as ever. The extraordinary talent that has created this work makes it a truly worthwhile experience.

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