The Belly of an Architect is a 1987 film drama written and directed by Peter Greenaway, featuring original music by Glenn Branca and Wim Mertens.
The movie stars Brian Dennehy and Chloe Webb and contains numerous references to the work of the 18th century French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.
The American architect Stourley Kracklite has been commissioned to construct an exhibition in Rome dedicated to the architecture of Etienne-Louis Boullée. Doubts arise among his Italian colleagues to the legitimacy of Boullée among the pantheon of famed architects, perhaps because Boullée was an inspiration for Adolf Hitler's architect Albert Speer.
Tirelessly dedicated to the project, Kracklite's marriage quickly dissolves along with his health. His physical and social ruin in some way corresponds to the decline of his idol Boullée, who remained relatively forgotten until the twentieth century.
Kracklite becomes obsessed with the historical Caesar Augustus after hearing that Livia, the wife of Augustus, supposedly poisoned him. Kracklite assumes that his own wife Louisa has tried to do the same due to his increasing stomach pains.