Kevin Sturton

... Kafka's stories are cinematic; the images Kafka creates in the mind stay with you. Though the word "kafkaesque" is often used to describe unyielding bureaucracy and the powerlessness of the individual against the state, Kafka's stories deal mostly with maladjusted, fragile men who seem to bring misfortune upon themselves despite their attempts to fit into the world around them. Kafka is also a great comic writer: his work can be tragic, but it is never without humour. A number of films have been adapted from his work, while others have used the author's own life as inspiration. ...

The Metamorphosis (Valery Fokin, 2001)

Though Kafka's work is almost synonymous with the absurd bureaucracy of the Communist regime, he is not well known in Russia. No surprises there, as the Communists banned his work. Russian director Valery Fokin puts together a fine production of The Metamorphosis, yet it has one glaring flaw. Neil Jordan once wrote about the difficulty of adapting The Metamorphosis: how do you show the protagonist Gregor Samsa was once human? Fokin tries to solve this by having the actor Yevgeny Mironov pretend to be an insect, but this does not work. Gregor must become something other, a physical transformation needs to take place for the story to work properly.