"Say what you like, but THE TRIAL is the finest film I have ever made." - Orson Welles,
"A film of infernal brilliance, perhaps the most exciting picture that Orson Welles has made since THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS." - TIME
An ambiguous fantasy seen through a distorting lens, with bravura flourishes of baroque expressionism...
THE TRIAL captures the cold atmosphere of Kafka's novel but without a slavish fidelity to his philosophical concerns. The film proper, following a short prologue, opens with these words: "It has been said the logic of this story is the logic of a nightmare or dream."
Seemingly, notions of guilt and innocence become irrelevant in a world that is so claustrophobic and irrational. It is the kind of universe familiar to those who have read Orwell's 1984 or seen Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL.
The central figure, Joseph K. (Anthony Perkins), awakens one morning to find a police inspector and two detectives in his apartment to place him under arrest. Charged with an unspecified crime, he prepares himself for a formal trial by attempting to navigate his way through the seemingly endless red-tape and labyrinthine bureaucracy.