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THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT - An architect with a fatal illness and a straying wife is the hero of this ambitious film, which weaves melodrama and art history into a complex and sometimes perplexing tapestry. Directed by Peter Greenaway in 1987, and released now in an apparent bid to capitalize on the controversy of ``The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,'' his newer and far more outrageous movie. Brian Dennehy's performance is imposing, as are the streets and buildings of Rome, where the story takes place. (Rated R) LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN - The frequent miseries and occasional joys of working-class life are the subject of this abrasive but grimly effective drama, set in Brooklyn during the 1950s. Directed by West German filmmaker Uli Edel, who made the similarly unsettling ``Christiane F.'' in 1981. Written by Desmond Nakano, who uses the subplot of a violent strike to link various story lines borrowed from Hubert Selby Jr.'s explosively cynical 1964 novel. (Rated R)

SWEETIE - A mentally disturbed woman wreaks havoc in the lives of her friends and family. This pitch-dark Australian comedy was directed by newcomer Jane Campion, who charges the early scenes with terrific visual imagination but allows the second half to sink in a sea of insensitivity, treating the main character more as a nuisance than a tragically impaired human being. (Rated R)

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