To mark the release of a DVD box set in 2021, Steven Soderbergh decided to give some of his earlier films a new lease of life. One of them was Kafka, which “morphed” into Mr. Kneff, a story set in Prague in 1919 about a writer, whose miserable job provided him with literary inspiration. The new cut is twenty minutes shorter and Soderbergh also rearranged the narrative structure and coloured certain scenes to make a clearer distinction between reality and the protagonist’s imagination. The dialogues were replaced by subtitles; the music was also altered, incorporating, among others, the instrumental version of Metallica’s song “Enter Sandman”. Mr. Kneff, arguably a film about Kafka, but now without Kafka, in comparison with the original is thus noticeably estranged and more surreal. (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)


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português Mistura cinematográfica contraditória que combina uma atmosfera noir e belas composições a preto e branco da velha Praga com música por vezes terrivelmente escolhida e legendas coloridas num tipo de letra de "banda desenhada". Embora estas tornem o diálogo mais fácil de entender, não contribuem para a seriedade da obra. Compreendo a ausência de diálogos em áudio para preservar a pátina literária da obra de Kafka, mas o facto de não ver (ou ouvir) Jeremy Irons a atuar com a sua voz, não ajuda em nada o filme. [KVIFF] ()


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inglês Steven Soderbergh is sitting in the editing room, remastering his old film Kafka, when he suddenly asks himself, since he directed the actors so expressively, what it would be like if he muted the dialogue tracks in the soundtrack. And that does have its charm, especially with the additional music and intensified foley effects. The result of this anecdote is one of the freshest and freest approaches to the concept of the director’s cut. Instead of a fixed, obsessive vision (Scott) or fooling around with technological excesses in the interest of viewer immersion (Lucas) or particular aesthetic preferences (Cameron), Soderbergh offers up a bizarrely imaginative experiment. At the same time, Mr. Kneff is like a Reader’s Digest abridged version of the original work, as well as a playful variation on it that is equally obstinately conceptual, caustically derisive and surprisingly stimulating. On top of that, it enables viewers who have seen the original film to experience it again in a somewhat different interpretation. ()