Some other random patterns I've been noticing in the films screened here:
1. Split screen/splitting couples. Invariably a relationship in trouble is made concrete on the screen by separating the two with a door jamb, a stair railing, etc. Maybe arty about 40 years go, but now a cliche.
2. Vomiting. At moments of intense emotion a character vomits dramatically. Does this ever happen in real life? I would have thought this device would have been done with after the vomiting scene in "Team America: World Police."
3. Cats. At key plot moments a cat will appear, cross the screen or settle in a character's lap or something. But that's okay. I like cats.
More importantly, though, I've seen a film which not only is the first here at Karlovy Vary that can legitimately be called Kafkaesque but is also the best film in the festival, Hungarian director Attila Gigor's "The Investigator." But, it will be a hard sell. I myself almost balked on it when the talking crab appeared, but I gave it time and it grew on me. Once you accept the talking crab I think you're going to love this movie.
An assistant pathologist in Budapest rounds off his day of attending to gruesome corpses by visiting his mother dying of cancer in the hospital. She needs an operation he can't afford to pay for. Meanwhile, a mysterious young cafe waitress also is hitting on him but the pathologist shuns all human contact; the closest he can get to a person is when he lovingly applies make-up to a cadaver's face. So he's got a little bit of the Norman Bates thing going for him, but also, as the story develops, some Columbo and RoboCop as well.
One day a stranger with a gimpy eye called Cyclops (allusion alert! The Odyssey!) offers him a huge wad of money if he agrees to kill a complete stranger. Without too much compunction (a cat in fact plays a part in his decision making) the pathologist accepts, and... So now you're thinking "The American Friend" or "Strangers on a Train." But I'm also thinking Oedipus, the first detective. He also tried to solve a murder and ended up finding out both the identity of the victim and the killer and himself. This film is kind of like Oedipus with a happy (sort of) ending. It's a Greek Comedy, Hungarian style. And it's very funny, too.