Soderbergh is a hit and miss director for me. With Kafka he categorically hit. It's not based on any one specific story but is rather an amalgamation of the author's themes. Translating them into film was achieved with occasional canted angles and a beautiful canvas of B+W contrasts courtesy of DoP Walt Lloyd. The deceptively simple depth of field holds within it things that stand out without being pointed out directly - there's a trust that the viewer will know not just where to look but how to look. Influences are plentiful, from Murnau to Lang, Huston, Welles, Reed and even Hitchcock, there's always something interesting to admire (that rooftop!).
Obviously, some knowledge of Kafka's published works will help with placing of references, but it's not necessary to enjoy the film.