Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Belly of an Architect
Movie shot. Internet download.
The Belly of an Architect is a 1987 very interesting film about architecture (and more) directed by Peter Greenaway. The movie stars are Brian Dennehy and Chloe Webb.
The film's protagonist Stourley Kracklite (Dennehy) is an American architect who has been commissioned to construct a giant exhibit hall retrospective in Rome, dedicated to the architecture of 18th Century architect, Etienne Louis Boullée. However, doubts arise among his Italian colleagues to the legitimacy of Boullée among famed architects. Kracklite's physical and social ruin conceptually corresponds to the decline of his idol Boullée. He has very bad feelings about himself, he is humiliated to be old, to be fat, and to be surrounded by Roman art and architecture whose perfect scaling and imposing architecture he has always admired. As time goes by, Dennehy finds himself addressing Boullée’s buildings as icons of the man himself, and he is even scripting a series of postcards to the extinct architect who suddenly seems resuscitated.
The character of Kracklite himself becomes obsessed with the historical Cesar Augustus after hearing that Livia, Augustus’ wife, supposedly poisoned him. Kracklite assumes that his own wife has tried to do the same due to his increasing stomach pains. Greenaway himself, who conceived of the film while suffering a psychosomatic illness in Rome, claimed it was about the many ways human beings reproduce: in buildings, sculpture, painting, photography, photocopies, and bed. Greenaway's visual technique heightens Kracklite's alienation, to the point that the main character Kracklite starts his photocopies obsession with pictures of bellies, indeed, of his own belly.
Peter Greenaway is the only filmmaker who could think at the same time of…obscenity? sex? and geometry. That is impressive. But more impressed I felt when I saw Kracklite mapping his own intestines –his belly- as the rounded forms alluding to the spherical constructions designed by Boullée, and his wife’s pregnancy belly.

Here we can see the impressive picture of the architect in relation with the monumental exhibition. Picture downloaded from Internet.
Even the fruits are part of the buildings models. Picture downloaded from Internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails