The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka
(Shortfilm, 29 min., 1993)
Directed by Carlos Atanes
Written by Joan Lluró and Gemma Delgado
Cast: Antonio Vladimir, Manuel Solàs, Arantxa Peña, José María Nunes, Anne Sofie Nilsson, Xavier Villena.
Two years after finishing film studies, Carlos Atanes, great fan of Franz Kafka, directed this adaptation very freely. He made the risky decision to don't limit himself too much to the text. He took advantage from what producion achieved (as a magnificent location with a library with more than 60,000 volumes). He added some winks to other Kafka's works (and Borges', and Piranesi's...) and above all, he dressed the story with a lot of allusions and references to the author's private and familar life, especially to his father, Hermann Kafka, whom Franz always had complicated relationship.
This identification between fictitious family (the Samsas) and true family (the Kafkas) also inspired a change into the time context: the story is placed at Central Europe subjugated by national socialism, grotesque regime that Franz Kafka didn't know, but it was what, some years after his death, annihilated his family. Even the title takes part into the double biographical / literary meaning: "The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka" is "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and also the metamorphosis of Franz Kafka. Logically so heterodox adaptation of a so venerated text has caused very polarized reactions, and Carlos Atanes is still receiving angry condemnations from the most purist kafkians long time after this medium-length film was published in internet.
ANALYSIS OF THIS FILM
Transforming the Metamorphosis - by Jennifer Makowsky
Kafka’s Metamorphosis Story vs. Movie - by Charlotte Tanyi
The Metamorphosis Decades Apart - by Ashley Edmonds
Short Film: Carlos Atanes’ The Metamorphosis - by Mike Everleth