Saturday Night Cinema: The Trial


Tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema selection was inspired by the left’s war on Donald Trump and all of us, his supporters — in other words, freedom-loving individuals.

Our cinema selection is Orson Welles’ masterpiece, The Trial. Welles said immediately after completing the film: “The Trial is the best film I have ever made.”

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

Based on the 1925 novel by Franz Kafka, “The Trial” stars Anthony Perkins as Joseph K, a bank clerk arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Determined to vindicate himself, Joseph sinks into a bureaucratic maze without end: Corridors lead to corridors, red tape to more red tape. The more Joseph tries to understand, the more impenetrable it becomes. (SFG)

But unlike this film, we have prevailed and will prevail.

The New York Times, very much a part of the soul crushing leftist machine, was a bit confused by the film.

Screen: ‘The Trial’ Still an Enigma:Welles Compounds the Murkiness of Kafka
By BOSLEY CROWTHER Special to The New York Times. NEW YORK.
Published: February 21, 1963

Whatever Franz Kafka was laboriously attempting to say about the tyranny of modern social systems in his novel, “The Trial” is still thoroughly fuzzy and hard to fathom in the film Orson Welles has finally made from the 40-year-old novel. “The Trial” opened at the Guild and the new R.K.O. 23d Street Theatre yesterday.

Evidently it is something quite horrisic about the brutal, relentless way in which the law as a social institution reaches out and enmeshes men in its complex and calculating clutches until it crushes them to death.

At least, that is what this viewer gathers from the crazy and symbolistic stuff that Mr. Welles and an excellent cast of actors have regurgitated on the screen. That is what seems to be the message, in this wild and wooly account of the serialistic experiences of a baffled, rebellious young man after he has been mysteriously arrested by secret agents and prepared for some sort of formal trial.

But don’t expect us to analyze it or clarify what Mr. Welles has rendered pictorial out of Kafka, any more than he has done so himself despite some impressive staging and some startling pictorial effects, achieved by shooting much of the picture in the old abandoned Paris railway station, the Gard d’Orsay, he has not reduced the weird proceedings to a clear dramatic line or arrived at an intellectual conclusion that is readily understood.

The strange geometric arrangements of rooms and people at work, of overstressed filing cabinets and the faces and forms of characters, make pungent visual stimulation, but they only bewilder the mind. They do not fall into patterns that convey congealing ideas.

Likewise, the offbeat acting has pictorial qualities but it does not bring out consistent or even clear revelations, of character. Anthony Perkins as the baffled hero has a wild and frightened air. He is a credible victim of a mystery. But that’s about all he is. Jeanne Moreau is an utter enigma as a girl he meets early in the film and Mr. Welles himself is a monstrous facade of something sinister as a hero’s advocate.

Akim Tamaroff, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli and Suzanne Flon are other symbolic figures in this confusing film.

At best, it is another demonstration of the camera vers atility of Mr. Welles; at worse, a further Kafka demonstration extending to the demanding medium of the screen.

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