Orson Welles Ernest Callenbach - Essay

Ernest Callenbach

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Rare is the critic who can manage to look at a film like [The Trial] except through a kind of screen set up by the original work. No amount of consciousness about problems of adaptation, and all that, can gainsay this tendency—only ignorance is a real safeguard. Luckily, however, I have not read Kafka's novel for many years. Consequently, looking at Welles' Trial, I find it an interesting film, rather than a disappointing derivative. It is, of course, in many ways not only unKafka-like but positively anti-Kafka. (p. 40)

The film is an attempt to create a nightmare world, rather like that of 1984. It is vaguely European in decor, with a melange of nineteenth-century...

(The entire section is 502 words.)