Thursday, October 6, 2011
Franz Kafka Gets the Capra Treatment
About ten years ago, I saw "Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time. It was an extra added onto a rented videocassette. It was so funny, I watched it multiple times before returning it to the video store (sadly gone now).
It's now on DVD ("Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life and other strange tales"), with three other comedic shorts, among them a strange two-hander written by Lewis Black, "The Deal". Peter Capaldi wrote and directed. Kafka (Richard E. Grant. looking unbelievably young) is struggling over his newest short story, in a rented room far above the streets of Prague. The set actually looks like one of Egon Schiele's paintings of Csesky Krumlov. But his landlady is having a loud party, the novelty store has delivered to the wrong apartment, and a weird scissors grinder who has lost his pet ("Jiminy, Jiminy Cockroach."). I can't think of anything that deserved an Oscar more.