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December 7 - 14, 2004  

Film Architectures


December 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm
December 8 (Wednesday) 7 pm

The Belly of an Architect

Directed by Peter Greenaway
UK, 1987, color, 118 min.
With Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson

This visually stunning work by Peter Greenaway chronicles the self-destructive decline of an American architect, in Rome to mount an exhibition on the eighteenth- century architect Etienne- Louis Boulée. An obsession with his stomach causes him to lose his wife, his creativity, and perhaps even his sanity. Extravagant in detail and color, the film—in true Greenaway form—is packed with art and architectural references, obsessions and omens, and exquisite traces of life and death.

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December 14 (Tuesday) 7 pm

Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)

Directed by Wim Wenders
West Germany/France, 1987, b/w and color, 128 min.
With Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk
German with English subtitles

Inspired by a poem from Rilke and co-written by acclaimed Austrian playwright Peter Handke, Wings of Desire follows a pair of angels who descend to earth to eavesdrop on the lonely, melancholy populace in the streets and buildings of pre-unification Berlin. Aided by the haunting, mostly monochromatic images of veteran cinematographer Henri Alekan, Wenders creates a spiritual documentary of the city and a haunting portrait of what it means to be human. He earned a Best Director award at Cannes for this meditative work, aptly dedicated to three of his own cinematic “angels”: Ozu, Truffaut, and Tarkovsky.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700