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Heart Of A Dog

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

New York art-scene legend Laurie Anderson offers a wonderfully moving tribute to her dog

The voice of arty New York downtown cool, artist Laurie Anderson is on thoughtful form for her first feature film in nearly three decades. On the surface, though, she’s made the most uncool thing imaginable: a movie about her dog, an adventurous rat terrier named Lolabelle. But in its combination of video, surveillance footage and her own 8mm family memories, ‘Heart of a Dog’ digs deep into the realm of ideas.

Anderson’s work has always had a political dimension. After September 11, noticing NYC’s ever-present cameras, armed soldiers and a wider crackdown on speech, she retreated to the Bay Area of San Francisco for some perspective. Out on a hike, tiny Lolabelle is almost mistaken for a tasty rabbit by a circling hawk, leading Anderson to reflect on new threats from above. Her deeper subject is death (Anderson’s late partner, Lou Reed, is seen in a flash), but also the phoniness of storytelling.

The movie isn’t falsely deep, but you do have to roll with some of its more lovably pretentious moments: Anderson thinks nothing of giving her dog piano lessons or concert recitals. You’ll leave this film more alive, more aware, more able to cope.

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 20 May 2016
  • Duration:75 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Laurie Anderson
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