Written and directed by Laurie Anderson
From 20th May 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Despite the title this production goes far beyond the whimsy of the love and loss of a dog.
It is a highly personal film by the gifted musician and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson.
It is a profound and moving account of those close to her, excluding her mum, who have had a significant impact on her life, including her dog Lolabelle and husband Lou Reed.
As well as highly impressive imagery, including shots of Anderson when she was a young girl and home footage of her dog, there is a stunning soundtrack, all the music composed and produced by her.
In a way each tale she narrates is a dream-like ghost story, whether it be about those who were close to her, 9/11, Homeland Security, heightened surveillance or the increase of the military present on the streets and in public places such as railway stations.
Heart of a Dog incorporates an imaginative mix of formats: 8mm home movies, shimmering animation, bizarre visual effects and illustrations drawn by Anderson herself.
Her voice-over is entrancing, blending seamlessly with the other formats.
In the end credits she dedicated the film to Reed and his ‘magnificent spirit’, as his song ‘Turning Time Around’ is played.
It is that rare type of film where you can close your eyes while watching it and create your own imagery while listening to the sublime music.