This might come in handy on the Tardis - Peter Capaldi with his Oscar statuette

This might come in handy on the Tardis – Peter Capaldi with his Oscar statuette

Before he was sharp-tongued media adviser Malcolm Tucker in BBC’s The Thick Of It and, more recently, being transformed into a gigantic (in global marketing terms) time lord as the new Dr Who, Peter Capaldi won the Oscar in 1995 for a quirky short film he wrote and directed called Franz Kafka’s It’s Wonderful Life.

This is one of a virtual treasure trove of 550 free movie listed on the Open Culture website.

Gregor Samsa post metamorphosis

In the film, we find K (Richard E. Grant) struggling to overcome writer’s block while writing the famous opening to his short story Metamorphosis.

He is distracted by a knife salesman searching for his pet cockroach and by the noise from a party downstairs attended by a group of young women who look like extras from Picnic At Hanging Rock.

Like Frank Capra’s feel good Christmas caper, it all ends happily as Kafka gets his inspiration and wins some new friends in the process (“call me F”).

Just like Kafka’s life it is dark, strange, surreal, satirical and short.

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