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Kafka (1991)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,708 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 50 user | 30 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Writer Franz Kafka works during the day at an insurance company where events lead him to discover a mysterious underground society with strange suppressive goals.

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Title: Kafka (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gabriela
...
Burgel
...
Doctor Murnau
...
Bizzlebek
...
Grubach
...
The Chief Clerk
Brian Glover ...
Castle Henchman
...
Assistant Ludwig
...
Assistant Oscar
Robert Flemyng ...
The Keeper of the Files
Matyelok Gibbs ...
Concierge
Ion Caramitru ...
Solemn Anarchist
Hilde Van Mieghem ...
Female Anarchist (as Hilde Van Meighem)
Jan Nemejovský ...
Mustachioed Anarchist
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Storyline

Kafka, an insurance worker gets embroiled in an underground group after a co-worker is murdered. The underground group is responsible for bombings all over town, attempting to thwart a secret organization that controls the major events in society. He eventually penetrates the secret organization and must confront them. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

secret | worker | writer | co worker | anarchy | See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kafka  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just before going to the Castle, Kafka ask Bizzlebek to burn his manuscripts if he never came back. Bizzlebek replies "such an extraordinary request". This is in reference of the real request Kafka asked his friend Max Brod before dying. Brod couldn't go with the request and had Kafka's work published. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Murnau: You despise someone like me - because you despise the modern. But you are at the very forefront of what is modern. You write about it, you document it... Unlike you, though, I have chosen to embrace it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in And Everything Is Going Fine (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Kafkanian World On Screen
18 January 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Steven Soderbergh's cult "Kafka" is not a biopic of writer Franz Kafka, yet it has references of his works such as "The Castle", passages of his life (where he tells to a friends to burn his manuscripts away without showing his writings to the public) and a main character who happens to be a writer named Kafka.

The extremely shy Kafka (Jeremy Irons) works in a bureaucratic place where he also writes to himself a few stories and some letters to his father. In this same place he only has one friend, a guy named Edward Raban who disappeared mysteriously. Kafka starts a strange journey trying to figure out what happened to his friend entering in a dangerous game with some strange figures such as Edward's lover and Kafka's co-worker (Theresa Russell) and her revolutionary friends; a very friendlier figure who knows too much (Jeroen Krabbé); Grubach a police inspector (Armin Mueller-Stahl); and some of his own work colleagues such as his new assistants (Keith Allen and Simon McBurney), his estranged boss (Alec Guinness) and the annoying Mr. Burgel (Joel Grey); and at last Dr. Murnau (Ian Holm).

In a magnificent performance Jeremy Irons makes of his Kafka a man suffocated by the environment where he lives and the only way to escape of it it's to write stories that reflect his life in a awkward way and/or his life as an "investigator" that took him to darker places that could have been a source of inspiration for his works. The movie goes to tell us that he lived in a bizarre and very surrealistic place with surrealistic figures all around him and they were always trying to watch his next step, what he was doing and Kafka run away from this people, hides his writing works. This is a good thriller material!

Soderbergh makes of "Kafka" a good humored film noir that has a great mystery to be solved, the rhythm of the film is intertwined with some slow paced moments where you can pause your brain to solve some of the puzzles, a frantic suspense that goes to complete a surrealistic plot. The final result is a great movie with nothing obvious and it makes good homages to Kafka's work, and homages to another classic films. It is a interesting cross between "The Third Man" and "Brazil", the visual of these two films combined along with the almost colorless Kafka's books are put together in here.

Walt Lloyd's cinematography is one of the most interesting and effective work ever made in film history, a photography that goes from black and white to color in a great way, showing these two worlds that seem to distant to each other when in fact they're close enough. In this case you can sense that the colorful world presented in the castle isn't better than the oppressive gray world outside of its dominions, the colors are presented only to tell us a frightening reality that is so shocking that we really want to back to the black and white world along with Kafka. And as a great mind said one time: "The black and white doesn't lie".

Unnoticed in its time "Kafka" is a cult film that must be revered by everyone and must of all revered by Kafka's fans even though this is not a biographical movie, it's more like a film that reveals more of his persona and an invitation to visually penetrate to his own creations. Or don't you think that we don't live in a Kafkanian nightmare in a Kafkanian world? 10/10


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