THE TRIAL

Based on a novel by Franz Kafka, The Trail is filmmaker Orson Welles at his most Wellesian. Anthony Perkins stars as K, a man accused of a crime he neither committed nor comprehends. K can ask all the questions he wants, but only riddles come back. Welles stacks the deck through the majesty of set design: Doors dwarf K while ceilings close in on him. Hallways offering escape extend into the infinite. And just when he thinks he’s making headway, another government official steps out of nowhere to block him. It’s like K’s trying to run a marathon through a tub of glue. Welles thought it was one of his best, and he might be right.

The Trial is available to stream on Kanopy. The above blurb first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly, Vol. 27, No. 38, “Home Viewing: Existential Cinema.”