I wonder, if Greenaway's strength is conveying the emotion of austere symbols and forms, then if his weakness is conveying the emotion of actual human characters. I lose my connection to the film toward the end, when I can neither sympathize or empathize with the titular Architect. I must admit, I'd rather admire the belly of his poisoner wife or of his enemy's sister.
it falls apart in the last quarter, when the film is forced to advance the lonely man / woman leaving narrative, and loses its flair in the clunky process. but most of the movie is a delightful flood of trivia that taunts your interpretation; sly reflections of real life onto art; Greenaway's characteristic closeups of objects-almost-symbols; and banter whose wit is conjured from how it empties the humans of content
This film is a beautiful visual artistic film about alienation and loneliness . The main character resorts to writing postcards to a dead architect in the depts of his loneliness . The film follows the disentigration of Stourley Kracklite (Dennehy) life , heaith ,work and marriage . You will enjoy the architecture and beauty of Rome . You get a taste of the Italians and their distaste for foreigners.
Perhaps the inevitable consequence of a Greenaway film about bellies is navel-gazing. It is stolidly pretty and, for all its careful mise en scene, very empty; what must Sacha Vierny have thought, when his camera had once prowled so impressively the halls and corridors of Resnais' far more alluring Marienbad?
One of Greenaway's more transparent movies, and I love it all the more for that. The decay of art appreciation, the struggle of an artist fighting with bureaucracy for the art that no one cares about anyways, the fear of imminent fatherhood... All these themes are treated without the usual detached wit that can be seen in most of his work. Here, he conveys genuine empathy for Kracklite's tragic destiny.
Mise en scene was beautiful but bordered being kitschy, and the narrative was mildly interesting. The protagonist's idiosyncrasies were unwatchably obvious. This film seems to be trying to say something very specific, but is unintentionally obfuscating it's message. The score, just as the acting and casual dialogue, seemed disconnected from the characters and film as a whole. These make it seem like a feature debut.