K Screen 5 articles

K

2015

K Poster
  • The openness, initially enjoyable, is meant to ironically contrast with the impositions of the fastidious social net that gradually ensnares the hero. It's a compelling conceit in theory, but in practice it cores the material of its meaning. The aesthetic is at odds with the obsessive, lonely claustrophobia of the source material, draining the plot, which is pointedly meaningless on its own, of its sense of existential foreboding.

  • A strange and intriguing reanimation of Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel The Castle.

  • Darhad Erdenibulag and Emyr ap Richard’s K (2015) was close enough to the original, with just the right touch of local flourish, to please ardent Kafka lovers, while proving a worthy follow-up to a similarly austere and formalist earlier adaptation by Michael Haneke (The Castle, 1997).

  • The filmmakers execute an extraordinary minimalist, gritty interpretation of the subject of Kafka’s final work: Man’s alienation and dehumanization in the face of incomprehensible, dysfunctional bureaucracy. Spatially, this translates into deformation and fragmentation, as well as dark, claustrophobic interiors (the duo insists on natural lighting). The word trippy comes to mind; so does the kinder, gentler Wonderland.

  • Richard and Erdenibulag’s K, which concludes with the music of John Adams, is dreamlike in the sense of depicting a strange experience that goes on well past its apparent lifespan, to the point of disso-lution. Here, acted out, Kafka’s arbitrary predicaments become self-aware melodrama, then finally subside into melancholic desperation. Or, as the film cryptically subtitles one line: “How suicidal happiness can be!”

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