Chris Swanton was a student of German at King’s College London, where he subsequently completed a PhD. After teaching for three years at London University he moved to what was then West Germany to take up a post at the University of Wuerzburg in Bavaria. During this time he spent a fascinating summer with the Berliner Ensemble at their “Theater am Schiffbauerdamm”, studying the production techniques of Bertolt Brecht, who had introduced the concept of “das epische Theater” (the epic theatre) with its technique of “Vefremdungseffekt” (objectivisation). The legendary playwright had died some two decades earlier, but Chris was fortunate enough to meet his daughter, the actress Barbara Berg, and his son-in-law, the actor Ekkehard Schall, both members of the Berliner Ensemble.
After returning to the UK, Chris taught at a local comprehensive school, but then had a complete change of direction when he joined the the Film Department of the BBC at the legendary Ealing Studios. He remained with the BBC for 16 years, winning a BAFTA for his contribution to the acclaimed series “Edge of Darkness” and being nominated in the following year for the Falklands drama, Tumbledown. He went on to add many more screen credits to his name.
Having long been a fan of Franz Kafka and The Metamorphosis, Chris Swanton has finally succeeded in fulfilling his ambition of making a film adaptation of the iconic novella, the first full-length English-language feature film based on Kafka’s existentialist classic.
Die Verwandlung –The Metamorphosis has captured imaginations and inspired the arts since it was written in 1912 and then published in 1915, yet the novella has evaded a true adaptation until now.