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審 判(1963年) The Trial (1963)

監督 オーソン・ウェルズ/Director: Orson Welles
出演 アンソニー・パーキンス、ジャンヌ・モロー、ロミー・シュナイダー/Starring: Anthony Perkins‚ Jeanne Moreau‚ Romy Schneider



Let me in this door

It would be foolish to write the plot of Kafka’s The Trial. That would be to refuse the story‚ interpretation and explanation of a novel that left its immortal footprint on literary history. I think it is enough to take off my hat to director Orson Welles’ feat of strength; literature according to language‚ with a clue on the common information of an image- he transformed the value of images called movies.

In an image‚ stylistic beauty like that of a Noh stage spreads out to every nook and cranny. With the background of a deserted house-like apartment‚ an elderly woman unable to walk asserts that she will move‚ crossing while pulling a large suitcase. Josef‚ (Anthony Perkins) talks to her but she repeats “I’m moving”‚ ending the conversation. Conversation not being established and the inorganic wild background is one of the first characteristics of this movie.

Across the large floor of the bank‚ several hundred employees are punching their typewriters. The metallic sound continually reveberates. There is a gigantic computer like one that was abandoned in a ghost town. The courtroom where the judgment is handed down is exactly like an amphitheatre. To the defendant at the bottom of the mortar‚ the audience clap and jeer. One after the other monochrome film is burned; a beautifully arranged image space. Josef finally makes his conclusion: “What’s this all about? You want me to believe that the world is intangible‚ meaningless and a corrupt game. I give up. So what? Are you going to rule that the whole universe is crazy?”Josef roams about the river bed saying “It could’ve been anyone. It didn’t have to be me” and then stretching out in a single running vest‚ he explodes.

This is a tragedy of a person manipulated by the will of a meaningless social system; it is the irrationality of fate‚ in this way- while receiving his complaints‚ Josef is handed the death sentence. To say this movie is Orson Welles’ guide of Kafka’s labyrinth is easy- but I don’t think it is that. Orson Welles initially refuses that it isn’t a labyrinth but inevitable: “No one can enter; there is only a door for me”. People must advance inside once they enter. It is neccessary. Even if it’s irrational or the universe is insane‚ if you don’t enter you can’t live. Before the gatekeeper forces you out‚ saying “I’m closing the door”‚ you have to pick up the courage and say “Let me in.”

Tomaso Albinoni’s music Adagio in G minor is wonderful. After this movie‚ it became the standard Baroque music to be used in film. Both Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider performed as members of Team Welles‚ but the prominent one has to be Anthony Perkins. He was 31 years old. Subtle‚ abstract‚ plant-like and emotional; there were no other actors fitting of this human portrait.