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The Belly of an Architect (1987)

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Reviews: 26 user | 31 critic

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Louisa Kracklite
...
Caspasian Speckler
...
Io Speckler
Stefania Casini ...
Flavia Speckler
Vanni Corbellini ...
Frederico
Alfredo Varelli ...
Julio
Geoffrey Copleston ...
Caspetti
Francesco Carnelutti ...
Pastarri
Marino Masé ...
Trettorio
Marne Maitland ...
Battistino
Claudio Spadaro ...
Mori
Rate Furlan ...
Violinist
Julian Jenkins ...
Old Doctor
Enrica Maria Scrivano ...
Mother
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Storyline

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition 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, exhibition, his unborn child and finally his own life. Written by Ofir Zwebner <ofirz@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 September 1987 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Der Bauch des Architekten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$287,725 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When photocopying the picture of Augustus, Kracklite puts the picture in upside down which would have given a blank copy (unless the same picture was on both sides). Additionally, it would not be possible to achieve the level of resolution of Augustus' abdomen from such a small picture. See more »

Quotes

Stourley Kracklite: All fascists are meat-eaters.
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Connections

Referenced in The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A study of the tortures of unappreciated architects
19 April 2001 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The ebullient Brian Dennehy gives a fine performance as Stourley Kracklite, an American architect who is in Rome with his younger wife Louisa (Chloe Webb) to arrange an exhibition on the French architect Etienne-Louis Boullée. Kracklite is obsessed with Boullée and even writes letters to him. Kracklite's life soon begins to deteriorate. He starts to suffer excruciating stomach pains and vomits each time he eats. He even thinks that his wife is poisoning him. His wife then falls pregnant and has an affair with Kracklite's rival architect, Caspasian Speckler (Lambert Wilson). Kracklite then sleeps with Speckler's sister, to get some sort of satisfaction. Speckler intrudes while they are having sex, and announces, "having sex with your pregnant wife is perfect, because I don't need to use contraception". Kracklite then punches him on the nose. Speckler's sister then says, "Don't put your blood on my white towel."

The film follows the parallels of these two unappreciated architects from different eras. The film is memorable for Dennehy's (an actor who is also unappreciated) remarkable performance. Also, the beautiful cinematography by Greenaway's trusty DOP Sacha Vierny makes the film very easy to look at. From the ancient architecture of Rome, to a painting-like bowl of figs, it is pristine-looking. Michael Nyman is absent, but the music by Wim Mertens is splendid. This film was made in between A Zed & Two Noughts and Drowning by Numbers, and it is quite unlike those two films, which, I think, are superior to this in the way they offer us a much more enigmatic, abstract concept. But even an ever so slightly lesser Greenaway film is a thing to behold.


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