Filming the Trial is in the possession of the Munich Filmmuseum. It has played the recent OW festivals in NY and LA, and probably played similar OW festivals in Europe this year and last year.
As it was never finished before Welles' death, it consists of an 80 minute Q & A Welles did at USC following a screening of the film in '81. The MF has combined it with the film's trailer for their restoration. A few snippets of this doc can be seen in the One Man Band.
I can't personally compare it to FO as I was unable to see it when it played NY recently. But I'm sure others could. MF director Stefan Drossler commented that he didn't believe Welles would have released it as it stands now. He probably would have intercut it like he did with Filming Othello. Others have said that the footage does not delve as deeply into Kafka as FO did into shakespeare. Of course, this is all subjective.
Parts of the film are excerpted in the book, the Unknown Orson Welles published by the MF. Among the interesting notes,
- Welles couldn't understand how the film got good notices but Anthony Perkins didn't. Welles said that Perkins played K as Welles wanted him to, as very active not passive. And that the bad press on Perkins was entirely Welles' fault.
- Casting today, Welles would have used Pacino, "but then I'd think of Pacino for most anything I can think of."
- On the Parable of the law (the prologue): "Because the life of this man is contained within a lie.... "He was born into it and conceived in the womb of horror...[the fable is a lie] an attempt to destroy him."
-On the changed ending, "because the book was written before the Holocaust." "I'm not Jewish but we're all Jewish since the Holocaust." On the explosion he says that any big explosion ends up in a mushroom and that they repeatedly tried to rig it so there wouldn't be a mushroom, sybolism. Eventually, he gave in when they couldn't get rid of the mushroom. But he left him defiant till the end throwing the grenade back and not getting his throat slit like a pig.
- On the theme of evil, he said that he doesn't believe in evil, "evil is force so great it is beyond me to decide whether it's generated entirely within man or whether it is a contagion." "The power of it is so great it humbles me."
- Welles considers himself a "profound pessimist."
- On cinematography, he lights a set before putting the actors on it and when it looks right, he puts the actors where he thinks they belong.
- Long takes are dependent on two things " a very good technical crew and very good actors." Then it can be an "enormous help to a cast, if they are good enough to play the rhythm of an entire sequence."
- "You can never get the same depth of field in color as you do in black and white."
- "The actor has too much power." "In film studies, the actor is very underrated." "Any good director is constantly astonished by something that his cast is giving him."