Skip to main content

The Trial (Le Procès) (1962)

The Trial (Le Procès). Feature film. (1962, 116 mins) IMDB

...A serious film...


aybe I haven't seen enough movies to truly appreciate this film--at least the narrative, not the film composition. As I watched the film I was frustrated by the set-up. It lacked specifics, but maybe that's the point. There are no specifics about what is accused of, but the lack of specifics made it seem more like a game than a serious threat.

Consider THE WRONG MAN--a 1956 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Peter Fonda as a family man who is wrongly accused of a series of robberies. In that film we clearly emphasize with the plight of Fonda's character because it's specific and real. We see him in jail, we see his accusers, we see the biased jurors. In short, we see a man in an impossible situation. In THE TRIAL, Perkins is arrested, but never taken to a jail or police station. He's free to wander around the city.

I never once related to his quest to free himself of these accusations--unknown to him and us. Perhaps that's the point. The absurdity of the system. I don't know.

The film is shot in what looks like Eastern Europe and perhaps the system in the film is a totalitarian government. Just a guess.

I suppose readers of Kafka's book, upon which the film is based, would bring a better appreciation of the narrative.

There were moments that in the film that reminded me of CITIZEN CANE. In the bedroom scene at the start of the film, characters are in foreground and background and both in focus. That's the famous deep focus of CANE.

I didn't like the fact the dialogue of the characters, other than Perkins, was at time mumbled and hard to hear. The audio could have been improved, or at least add English subtitles, that way we can read what was said.

Another film it reminded me of was THE THIRD MAN. Orson Welles starred in it, but didn't direct. Vienna of THE THIRD MAN was filled with bombed out buildings, rubble pilled around. While we don't see pilled rubble in this film, the buildings (factories, apartments) look as if they had been bombed at one point. There is a brief chase through an underground tunnel. There are the shadows of a man running down a street at night. I would guess Welles stole those ideas from THE THIRD MAN.

The film has many interesting visualizes. The set design and production design are unique and could studied at length. The lighting and cameras shots are equally provocative and different, but all these important elements don't matter if you're not interested in the story.

It was a much different film than I had imagined.

Posted 2009/02/23 at 20h11ET in Movie Commentary.


Popular posts from this blog

Day 109: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Sunday, March 6, 2017 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:47 Office ... I barely remembered anything about this story... H as it really been three months? I guess it has. I put it out of my mind [so much so] that I barely remembered anything about this story. Not even the title. [Unreal!!!!!!] I had the general premise and an ending—enough I thought for a novel. What I lacked was a determination and desire to want to write it. Why bother… I wasn’t enjoying the process and I had no reason to believe the result wouldn’t be anything more than what’s gone before—nothing.
James Piper Kitchener, Ontario Post comments on facebook page. Follow me on twitter. Posted 2017/04/14 at 14h02ET in The Deep Blue Cage | Writing A Novel

Words: Fairy—Ferry

Thursday, September 6, 2012
A homonym.
FAIRY—A fairy tale. A fairy godmother. Fairy—not a long, long way to run.
FERRY—A boat or ship to transport drunken Swedes back home from Copenhagen. It’s the Danish beer.
Fairy Ferry Samantha the Swimming Fairy by Daisy Meadows Evening Ferry by Katherine Towler
Posted 2012/09/06 at 5h02ET in Words, Writing.

Day 2: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Friday, November 18th, 2016 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments. ... There’s also poetic justice for this crew for what they did to the women they kept.... I t’s still Friday to me. [Writing early Saturday morning.] I wasn’t in bed until 6h and up at 14h. Then lots of errands. Lots of walking. Felt tired earlier—something different. I haven’t spent much time thinking about this story. I seemed to have put my mind into another lane. Not what I want. I was thinking too much about my future as a successful writer. Not simply being a writer, but a successful writer. One that makes a good living off or from it. That’s a better goal. So what to say about this story. No title. Oh. I did decide on something. She can’t die. Too much of a downer. That would seem to rule out a revenge aspect by the husband. Maybe she does it. These guys [the baddies] have to get it in the end. I was thinking about how she wants to sink the s…