Showing posts with label Elsa Martinelli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elsa Martinelli. Show all posts

2 September 2012

Orson Welles The Trial Blu-Ray Review

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Orson Welles’ The Trial was his penultimate feature length film. His last proved to be Falstaff : Chimes at Midnight but there are fragments of unfinished films such Don Quixote floating about.The Trial is a radical adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel which itself was a radical novel, he changes the book’s already fragmented order up and changes the ending. Welles was offered the chance to make any film from a public domain source by the producer Alexander Salkindso and Welles eventually picked The Trial partly due his son’s insistence and after he re-read it. However he later found it wasn’t in public domain at that time (it now is) but the producer and Welles decided to continue with the project.

The plot is relatively simple Josef K. (played brilliantly by Anthony Perkins) is woken in his apartment by some police officers who arrest him for a crime he is accused of committing, however he is never told of his offence. This starts a increasing downward spiral for Josef K. and increasing surreal events.

Anthony Perkins gives a brilliant nervous wreck of a performance at Josef K. It also really shows his really underused acting talent that sadly few films showed Psycho and On The Beach are the only others that come to mind. The film has a extra level of surrealism by the fact Orson Welles dubbed a lot of characters himself (which he also did in some other films) and the blu-ray makes it a lot more obvious with some dubbing noticeably out of synch at times. Orson himself has a supporting role as a strange law advocate and it seems like Welles redubbed his lines in adr. It also stars French star Jeanne Moreau as Josef’s neighbour.

 The film’s cinematography and sets’ are best Welles did since Citizen Kane with the exception of THAT tracking shot in Touch of Evil and that’s saying something! The film was mostly shot in Croatia (not Kafka’s native Czech Republic) and a lot of the sets weren’t sets at all but strange surreal futuristic buildings in the city of Zagreb.

The film’s structure is fragmented which is partly due to the novel’s structure. The film’s pacing is slightly off which is annoying at times but the film’s quality overcomes this. However it could probably loose about 15 minutes off it’s running time. Overall it’s one of the most flawed masterpieces to be made, which was partly because it’s financial limitations. However Welles’ inventiveness makes a it’s one of his most fascinating films in a career of fascination. It also boosts a stunning performance from Anthony Perkins who deserved a lot more juicy parts in his career. It is also worth noting that Welles believed Josef was guilty but you can make your own mind u[.

Ian Schultz

Blu Ray Release Date: 10th September 2012 (UK)
Directed by:Orson Welles
Cast:Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli, Orson Welles