Graphic with text: From Kafka to Kafka(esque) cinema

Celebrating Kafka

For the centenary of Kafka’s death, the LMH Foreign Film Club will host screenings supplementing the curriculum, open to the student and academic community in Oxford. The series will cover a selection of films which Kafka watched, adaptations of his prose, as well as ‘Kafkaesque’ cinema (Koutsourakis 2024).

Only a few days after having written his infamous The Judgement in one night, Kafka notes in his diary on the 25 September 1912: “Heute abend mich vom Schreiben weggerissen. Kinematograph im Landesteater.”/ “Ripped me away from writing tonight. Cinematograph at the Landesteater.” The films Kafka has seen are less pretexts for his writings but co-phenomena of a literary reality he created. The films adapting Kafka’s work investigate the borders between visual representation and the metaphorical ambiguity of Kafka’s worlds. And the filmic afterlives of Kafka’s style – translating motifs, topics, narrative methods into another, visual medium – give rise to what might be called Kafkaesque cinema. The latter may provide a lens into a transnational visual culture that takes inspiration from and goes beyond Kafka’s critique of modernity.

If you have a question about the event, please contact:

Saturday 27th April

  • 1.30pm – Kafka goes to the Movies 

  • 3.00pm – Adapting his Prose
    The Metamorphosis – Swanton (2012, UK)

Coffee Break

  • 5.15pm – Adapting his Short Stories
    A Country Doctor [カフカ 田舎医者] – Koji Yamamura (2007, Japan)
    A Hunger Artist  – Tom Gibbson (1992, USA)

  • 6.00pm – Lecture
    Angelos Koutsourakis: ‘In Search of a Critical Category: The Kafkaesque’

  • 7.15pm – Drinks reception

Sunday 28 April

  • 1.15pm – Kafka in Movies
    Franz Kafka – Piotr Dumala (1992, Poland) 
    Felice (Episode 02) – (2024, Germany)

  • 2.30pm – Kafkaesque Cinema I: Czech Surrealism
    Hmyz [Insects] – Svankmajer (2018, Czech Republic)

Coffee Break

  • 4.30pm – Kafkaesque Cinema II: Berlin School
    Transit – Christian Petzold (2018, Germany/France)