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The Castle Reviews

Franz Kafka's allegorical, unfinished novel is given fairly good treatment here. Schell is surveyor K, who is summoned to a remote village by the unseen occupants of a castle. In the town he finds there is no work for him, so he tries to contact the people in the castle. The villagers oppose him at every turn, and gradually he becomes obsessed with talking to the authorities in the fortress. At one point Schell almost meets a visiting secretary from the castle, but at the last second the carriage in which the official is a passenger pulls away, leaving Schell running behind it. The print shown at the 1968 Venice Film Festival ends with Schell's death. Beautifully shot and acted, this film is an appropriately abstract study of a man battling a faceless bureaucracy that ultimately destroys him. (In German; English subtitles.)