K

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    K

    Directed by

    China, United Kingdom

    2015

    86 min

    • Mongolian

    Drama

    You've heard this one before, a land surveyor named K arrives in a distant village and becomes ensnared in the nearby castle’s procedural machinations. Yet this time round, things are different. As K traverses the vast Inner Mongolian plain, there’s no castle on the horizon and his arrival in the village is merely an abrupt awakening on a sunny afternoon. His two leather-clad assistants are hardly as alike as snakes, and Jeremiah, not Artur is to be their name.
    This village is nearly all interiors, tight shots of hallways, lobbies and antechambers in various shades of white, green and blue. Old wirelesses play crackly 40s-tinged jazz, calls are taken on an orange rotary dial telephone and jumbo jets thunder overhead, a place archaic and modern in equal measure.
    As the shifting maze of mayors, secretaries and ministers increasingly engulfs K, each passage begins to resemble the next and new rooms contain new visions. For in this spare, quietly radical adaptation of the Kafka classic, bureaucratic capriciousness becomes channelled into spatial confusion. A castle never seen, but always felt, like a halfremembered dream, bathed in the diffuse light of dawn.

    Awards

    • Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Award - Hong Kong IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Bayin
    Jula
    Yirgui
    Zandaraa
    Altanochir
    Screenplay
    Emyr ap Richard
    Cinematography
    Matthieu Laclau
    Editing
    Matthieu Laclau
    Production
    XSTREAM PICTURES

    Press

    Emyr and Erdenubilag know how to exploit cinematic means of representation to reinterpret text.

    Forrest Cardamenis, The Film Stage

    This film... defies expectations in the best ways.

    A.O. Scott, New York Times

    Physicality and intimacy are shown here more vividly than Kafka would ever even consider.

    Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

    K is also sexy, and the only word less likely to be applied to Kafka's work than 'open' is 'sexy.'

    Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

    Whatever it turns out to be, K is unlikely to disappear without a trace.

    Alesandro Gaudiano, GB Times

    A daring example of artistic risk.

    Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily

    Emyr ap Richard

    Emyr ap Richard

    United Kingdom

    Born in Carmarthenshire, Wales, in 1981. He worked for the Welshlanguage television station S4C before moving to live in Inner Mongolia, where he worked as a freelance photographer, writer, and English-Mongolian translator. After THE FIRST AGGREGATE (2012), which he co-directed with Darhard Erdenibulag, K is Emyr ap Richard’s second feature-length film.

    Selected Filmography

    Darhad Erdenibulag

    Darhad Erdenibulag

    Mongolia

    Darhard Erdenibulag (Ordos, Mongolia, 1978) specialized in the fine arts and worked as an interior designer before beginning to shoot documentaries for the Mongolian TV and working as a set photographer on various productions. His documentary Ovoo, about the traditional piles of stones which dot the Mongolian countryside, won numerous prizes and was presented at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.

    Selected Filmography