The Belly of an Architect
The Belly of an Architect
(Peter Greenaway, 1987)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Brian Dennehy gives his greatest performance in Peter Greenaway's cold examination of 'The Belly of an Architect'.
After reeling off a list of the usual problems like too much food, too little exercise and stress, a colourful Roman doctor ends his professional opinion that American architect Stourley Kracklite (Brian Dennehy) "too much egotism!"
Peter Greenaway's 1987 drama is interesting in the way that it breaks down a man in a variety of ways. Can ego kill a man? Or is he being poisoned by his wife? Can a culture shock stop a heart? Can burning out at work extinguish the man himself? These are the questions Stourley Kracklite must be asking himself in the months that he becomes obsessed with his belly which is giving him horrible pain.
'The Belly of an Architect' benefits, as you would expect given the lead character's all-important occupation, from location photography in Italy.
Brian Dennehy is incredible at playing a vulgar, towering man amid gorgeous ruins. Infatuated with the traces left behind by his favourite architect whom he's responsible in supervising a costly exhibition of, Kracklite himself is ruining as he strives to create gleaming new structures that will definitely outlive him.
The musical score is dated and stuck in the 80s, suddenly blasting into action devoid of subtlety but it succeeds in jolting you as does the pitch black dialogue. The whole film plays like a hit to the gut. You catch your breath when the credits roll.
Other film news
Last year Ridley Scott's 'Alien' franchise reboot/prequel both dazzled and infuriated audiences. With an impressive box office haul in the bank, 20th Century Fox are on for a sequel and a new writer has been hired.
Jean Dujardin, the French actor who enjoyed worldwide recognition and an Oscar for his work in 'The Artist', has been convicted of driving under the influence.
When the Christian Bale reboot of the 'Terminator' franchise misfired at the box office and with the critics, the future of the series was thrown in doubt. Until now. Original series lead star Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed the 5th film and his part of the Terminator itself.
Director Michael Bay, famed for his big budget action flicks such as 'The Rock' and the 'Transformers' franchise, will develop a screen adaptation of 'Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon', the bestselling espionage action game title.
Comedy stars Jim Carrey and Owen Wilson will team up for a new crime comedy entitled 'Loomis Fargo', according to reports.
An assistant film editor has filed a suit citing harassment, gender discrimination and wrongful termination against the Walt Disney company.
Oscar winning 'Titanic' actress Kate Winslet is pregnant with her third child, it has been confirmed. The 'Mildred Pierce' star is expecting her first child with recent husband Ned Rocknroll.
'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes previously walked away from working on another James Bond film due to his busy schedule and the pressures of directing such a huge title again, but now it seems that he has returned to the fold.
Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour drama 'La Vie DâAdÃ¨le - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour)' has been awarded the top prize (the Palme d'Or) at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Veteran actor and frequent Oscars host Billy Crystal is heading to TV: the 'City Slickers' star will front a TV sitcom for network FX entitled 'The Comedians'.
Oscar winning film Ang Lee has just backed out from directing his first television show - a TV pilot for the FX network called 'Tyrant'.
The stars were shining a little dimmer at this year's Cannes Film Festival after a massive jewellery theft robbed the celebs of their jewels.
Britain's premiere film lot Pinewood Studios, the home to James Bond and Harry Potter, has lost a Â£200m planning permission bid for a Hollywood-style expansion across 100 acres of green belt land.
The last time Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson appeared in a film together it was a massive studio production that went on to break box office records. Now the 'Avengers Assemble' stars are reteaming for an independent feature.
Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy after genetic tests revealed that she held a high risk of developing breast cancer.
'TV Burp' star Harry Hill's film debut has started shooting with himself in the lead and Matt Lucas as his twin brother alongside Sheridan Smith, 'Inbetweeners' star Simon Bird and Oscar winners Jim Broadbent and veteran actress Julie Walters.
'Jurassic Park 4' was due to begin production on June 24th for a release date almost exactly a year later, but studio Universal has pushed it back.
When it comes to optical effects in the movies, few have had a career as iconic as Ray Harryhausen, the special effects pioneer who recently died at 92.
The bank holiday weekend saw not one but two tentpole franchises get the sequel green lights from their studios: 'Men in Black 4' and 'Mission Impossible 5' are on the cards at Sony and Paramount.
In somewhat unexpected casting news, TV star Kelsey Grammer (best known as classy radio psychologist Dr Frasier Crane from 'Frasier' and 'Cheers'), has been cast as the lead villain in 'Transformers 4'.