"No movie is made by a complete adult. First of all, I don't know any complete adults." - Orson Welles
"The Trial" by Orson Welles is, as we commonly see credits on screen, "based" on the novel by Franz Kafka. I've never read Kafka, and I have only seen one other movie by Welles (yes, Citizen Kane), but I imagine that Welles would not be happy with that common term. His film takes us through illustrative, active non-stop visuals that I'm sure can make him claim the film as his own, with inspiration from Kafka.
In quick summary which won't describe the unending annoyance of verbal vagueness, the story greets us with up and coming business executive Joseph K (played brilliantly by Anthony Perkins), who wakes up one morning to find a police inspector in his room. The inspector informs him that he is under arrest but will not tell him what crime he has committed. When Joseph K states that he intends to file a complaint, the policeman goes away. Later, whilst enjoying an evening at the theater, Joseph K is contacted by the police inspector again and led to a cavernous court room to stand trial. Having delivered an impassioned speech to the court, Joseph K leaves the court room but soon discovers that his drama is far from over.
For the rest of the movie, he moves from one surrealistic encounter to another, with the police, his landlady, his advocate (played by Welles), a nurse, a priest and various court officials and fellow defendants -- each giving him some nugget of advice but ignoring his twitchy, frantic efforts to assert his dignity as a human being.
You can call it an allegory of the individual against authority, or maybe it's symbolic of man fighting against implacable evil.
The film feels avant-garde–for 1963 it feels like a "big" film–theatrical in set design and complicated in subject matter. I'd call it an experimental film. The scenes were shot with enormous buildings, including interiors where houses had endless rooms piled with a library's worth of books, and offices with hundreds of rows of identical tables and chairs. The creative tone offers beauty, awkwardness, fear, chaos and even sorrow. The entire set is strangely interconnected to form a kind of labyrinth; and the whole enterprise uncannily takes on the feel and illogicality of a nightmare.
Here's a taste of the court scene, and more importantly, a beautifully lit, surrealistic look at judgment: