One of the great works of world literature is Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the story of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed in his bed into an insect-like creature of human proportions. Finally, nearly a century after it was written, Metamorphosis is being brought to cinema screens for the first time.
Written in a three-week burst at the end of 1912, Kafka’s amazing novella has caught the imagination of generations of readers since its publication in 1915. Yet, apart from various short films, animated versions, and films loosely based on Kafka’s story, there have been only three airings of The Metamorphosis on television over the years: a German production in 1975 (Die Verwandlung), a Swedish version in 1976 (Förvandlingen), and the 1987 television version by the BBC of Steven Berkoff’s brilliant theatre adaptation (The Metamorphosis) originally staged in 1969.
The feature film Metamorphosis is a project of the London-based film production company Attractive Features Ltd. Filming took place at Halliford Studios, Shepperton in early 2010, and the production is now undergoing the lengthy process of inserting the computer generated images (CGI) of the creature that Gregor was transformed into. It is hoped that the process will be completed by mid 2011.
Directed by Chris Swanton, Metamorphosis stars Maureen Lipman as the Mother, Robert Pugh as the Father, Laura Rees as the Sister, and Chris New as Gregor Samsa.
METAMORPHOSIS is the story of Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman in fabrics, who wakes up one morning after disturbing dreams to find himself transformed in his bed into a giant and verminous insect-like creature.
The narrative then traces the interaction of Gregor and his family as he slowly starves to death for want of the right kind of sustenance. His death brings relief and rejoicing for his family and releases them to a new, fresher, more positive and independent life without him.
Before his transformation, Gregor had assumed the dutiful responsibility of providing for his parents and his sister when his father’s business had collapsed five years earlier. To keep things together, he had pushed himself into a job he detested and got up at four each morning, rain or shine, to travel the country pedaling his cloth samples when his real desire was for artistic expression, successful human relationships and emotional fulfillment.
Gregor’s transformation into a hideous and awkward parasitic creature is a cry for help, but his craving for understanding and fulfillment is not met.
Imprisoned in his room, his protective shell penetrated by his father’s attack, he wastes away and finally dies from the great wound in his back. The brutish charlady sweeps up his emaciated carcass and throws it out with the rubbish. His family can live again and, for the first time in months, leave their shadowy apartment together as a family and venture into the sunny world outside to celebrate their freedom from a dreadful burden.
Check out a trailer, a few photos, and a promo poster below. For more, including a big batch of stills and detailed notes on the appearance of the “Insekt”, visit Undead Backbrain.
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