Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
An unfinished film adapted from an unfinished novel
The scenes generally play out as they do in the novel, including the gaps from the novel, Haneke's view of Kafka's satirisation of bureaucracy. In 'Das Schloss' Kafka is at his usual absurd and pessimistic yet still very realistic idea of the world and the state. Themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parentchild conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, and mystical transformations. In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterised by what has been called the existential attitude, or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. This is the film of the unfinished novel. It expertly captures the abject, horrifyingly ridiculous, paranoia existentialist view of Kafka. A land surveyor named 'K' is invited to the Castle to do some work for a Count, but when he arrives at a Village where he finds that nobody is expecting him. K's attempts to get into the Castle are as unsuccessful as his attempt to settle into the local village. Greeted but not welcomed by a collective reluctance from the villagers, who with a systematic inefficiency prevent him from any prospects of even approaching the castle. The harder the stubborn K tries, the more he moves from his goals. You never see either the Count or indeed The Castle. The whole series of events is shot during winter with a grainy effect - possibly as a result of a TV transfer to DVD. The film was originally made for Austrian TV. The film ends as the book does - unfinished. The late Ulrich Mühe and Sussane Lothar are exceptional. With respect to perhaps Orson Welles, this film could not be made by mainstream Hollywood - they wouldn't know what to do with it! Although the film is certainly not for everyone, perhaps for Haneke fans only.
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