I am a Laurie Anderson fan. I have been since her album "Big Science" was released in 1982. I remember listening to "Walking and Falling" over and over on my SONY Walkman as I walked many paths and feeling like she really got it, whatever it was. I continued to follow her, through her release of "Home of the Brave" in 1986 and saw her perform live at the Zellerbach Hall in the 90s. Her marriage to Lou Reed seemed so perfect. So, when I heard she made a movie, I had to check it out. As I left the theater, I could only ask myself, "Why did it take so long?"
"Heart of a Dog" is a beautiful tribute to life, love, and the fleeting nature of time. It is everything you would expect from a Laurie Anderson movie and then some. It is not a documentary, it is a cinematic essay on loss and love and death and remembrance. It is poetry on film. Laurie Anderson is, in my mind, first and foremost a poet. She has been graced with an understanding of the power of language, not only in the actual chosen words, but in the cadence of their delivery. The influence of Burroughs is obvious. In "Heart of a Dog", she translates that poetry to imagery, mixing home movies, weird distorted images barely recognizable, to straight up film moments, it all comes together as the ultimate Laurie Anderson expression.
If you are not a fan, this may not be the film for you, or it may be a gateway into the mind of a creative genius. It is not so much a film as a stream of consciousness visual essay. If you are a fan, then make all haste to see this film. It is everything you can imagine a Laurie Anderson film to be.
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