Castle, The

A match so appropriate that it defies question.. The Austrian director, Michael Haneke, and Franz Kafka... Haneke's The Castle, the product of this match, is a work as profound as it is packed with meaning and relentless criticism. Right from the outset the audience is drawn into the atmosphere generated by these two creative wizards. K., a land surveyor, turns up late one night at a rural tavern, weary from blizzards and lack of sleep, in the village he'll be working in. The owner of the tavern and its patrons don't exactly warm to strangers. K. gets a better idea of this later when he settles in the village and tries to get into the Castle. Even if he has been summoned on official orders to the Castle, he finds his efforts both to start the job and to see an official in the Castle thwarted at every turn. His attempts to get near the Castle or find a lead to take him there propel K. into a labyrinth of bureaucracy and complex relationships. All well and good, but is K. actually as innocent as he looks in all this? His calculating approach to the villagers, his selfishness and arrogance hardly escape the eye. Haneke's adaptation of Kafka's unfinished novel may have been made for television, but what stands out is how little the director compromised on his own style and film aesthetic. As always, Haneke treats weather and living conditions as an integral part of relations in the community. Blizzards and permanent snow-cover condemn the villagers to a life within their own four walls, so that their emotional distance from one another and anxiety in the face of strangers seems inevitable. The mystery surrounding the Castle is felt entirely outside the Castle. None of the villagers disputes the authority hailing from the castle; everyone accepts its existence as normal and abides by its rules. To have a job in some way connected with the Castle is a privilege. Even to be mistress or messenger to someone on the staff there counts for a lot. In fact, the durabili

Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke (based on the novel by Franz Kafka)

Jiri Stibr

Andreas Prochaska

WEGA Film Produktionsgesellschaft m.b.H.

André Eisermann
Felix Eitner
Frank Giering
Susanne Lothar
Ulrich effort

Austrian People's Education Award - Special Award Baden

10th Festival on Wheels
Kafkaesque IMAGES