Metamorphosis (1975, Jan Nemec)

A very good hour-long movie of the Kafka story, with Gregor Samsa played by a first-person camera and off-screen voice, so there’s no creature effect to ruin the weird mystery.

First movie I’ve seen by Czech new wave director Nemec whose early features were released by Criterion alongside Daisies. An eccentric movie with long roving takes. I’d forgotten the three initially-silent tenants who move into the family’s apparently spacious apartment to help pay the bills after Gregor stops being able to work. Gregor’s disappointed father is played by Heinz Bennent (Heinrich in Possession).

I’ve also seen Caroline Leaf’s 1977 animated version, a 2008 short where post-death Samsa returns as a flock of CG butterflies to torment his family and coworkers, and the meta-version where Richard E. Grant plays Kafka. Apparently Tim Roth starred as Gregor in 1987, and there’s a well-reviewed Russian feature from 2002.

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