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Franz Kafka Movies & TV

Kafka (1990)

This film, starring the grim-faced actor Jeremy Irons, is not exactly a biopic about Franz Kafka, nor is it directly based on any of Kafka's works. Instead, director Steven Soderbergh set out to make a film more Kafkaesque than Kafka himself. Kafka - the title character - is a secret writer who is working a soul-sucking job in 1919 Prague. Soon he is sucked into a web of deception and persecution straight out of The Trial.

Franz Kafka (1992)

This is an obscure, short animated film by writer/director Piotr Dumala. Dumala created a unique form of animation that relies on paint and sand manipulated on plaster - hard to describe, but fascinating to watch.

The Trial (1962)

The eccentric filmmaker Orson Welles was a perfect candidate to adapt Kafka's harrowing account of a man hounded by authorities and tried for reasons no one will explain. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio watched Welles's adaptation of The Trial for inspiration when they were making the thriller Shutter Island.

The Trial (1993)

This is a more literal interpretation of Kafka's novel, starring Kyle MacLachlan as Joseph K. and Anthony Hopkins as The Priest. It was written by the esteemed Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, a worthy handler of Kafka's prose.

Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1993)

This is an Oscar-winning short film that blends Kafka's Metamorphosis with the cheery Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life. Now that they mention it, we do see the parallels. In one, Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself an insect; in the other, George Bailey suddenly finds himself a ghost.

Metamorphosis (2002)

The Russian director Valeri Fokin created this adaptation of The Metamorphosis. For obvious reasons - it's really hard to play a bug - this is a difficult text to adequately adapt to the screen. But this art-house film is definitely worth a watch.

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