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Belly of an Architect, The (1987)

Original Title : Belly of an Architect, The
Director : Peter Greenaway
Writer : Peter Greenaway
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Colin Callender , Walter Donohue
Music : Glenn Branca
Wim Mertens
Photography : Sacha Vierny
IMDB ID : 0092637
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poster for "Belly of an Architect, The" by Peter Greenaway (1987)
Belly of an Architect, The (1987) - Peter Greenaway
 

Starring

Brian Dennehy Stourley Kracklite
Chloe Webb Louisa Kracklite
Lambert Wilson Caspasian Speckler
Sergio Fantoni Io Speckler
Vanni Corbellini Frederico
Alfredo Varelli Julio
Geoffrey Copleston Caspetti
Francesco Carnelutti Pastarri
Marino Masé Trettorio
Marne Maitland Battistino
Claudio Spadaro Mori
Enrica Maria Scrivano Mother
Julian Jenkins Old Doctor
Ricardo Ussani Little Boy
Stefano Gragnani The Nose Man
Andrea Prodan Young Doctor
Fabio Sartor Policeman
Stefania Casini Flavia Spackler
 

Plot

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an expedition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed with his belly, suffers severe stomach pains, loses his wife, his unborn child and finally his own expedition.
 

Comments

In other's pain you recognize yourself. This is possibly the most painful and yet bland love-drama I've seen. It's also a film about clashes between cultures. Why? you ask. (SPOILERS) Well, in the beginning, when we see the happy couple making love on the train, everything is so relaxed and comfortable. Then they arrive in Rome, Italy. And ever so slowly, the Italian sun-beaten culture with a whole different set of values, start creeping in. At first, both "Senior Cracklite" and his wife are met with great respect as if they were both filmstars or something. And then they start interacting with Italian people, eating late, beginning to get sluggish by the everyday heat, being hit by the ever-present "yada-yada" of the Italian language (it's a beautiful language, but still "yada-yada"), etc. And then Louisa meets the ever-smiling and charming Italian men, who takes her by storm. Mr. Cracklite is so immersed in his job that it's hard not to see where this is going. And so, it goes the way we all fear. And I could really feel a strange recognition in this. Not that I've been in Italy and have experienced this first-hand, but I've traveled to other countries in southern Europe, and seen/listened to this almost invisible world of "alcoholic fumes", generated by a culture raised on wine instead of milk, siestas instead of lunch-breaks, the double standard of the unmarried woman being protected to the death and the brutal male shovinistic tradition of 'hitting on' married women instead. And Mr. Cracklite is a sitting duck for this kind of 'ambush' on his relationship with his wife. Just as she is. Because they are the products of a more western view of peoples conduct. Not to say that infidelity is any less a product of our culture as well. I myself is from Sweden, and I recognize more in the way that the Cracklite's reactions than the Italian's. Also, the absolutely wonderful photo stresses this love-crisis even more. The immaculate Italian architecture, reeking of history and centuries past, the great heritage from thousands of generations of poets, musicians, statesmen, the whole civilized culture of the Romans only accentuates the feelings of estrangement between Mr. Cracklite and his wife, and between his visit to this 'alien culture' and his own distant home. And that is what ends his part in this story. But not his ex-wife's. Oh... Those women and that love. Never absolutely trustworthy. I give this film an 8 out of 10. Dracopticon out.
 
poster for "Belly of an Architect, The"
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Belly of an Architect, The (1987) - Peter Greenaway
poster for "Belly of an Architect, The"
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Belly of an Architect, The (1987) - Peter Greenaway
poster for "Belly of an Architect, The"
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Belly of an Architect, The (1987) - Peter Greenaway
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