There is a ghost presence in this new, funny, sad rumination on life, love and death from artist Laurie Anderson - in fact several. Explicitly, this a film about grieving for Anderson’s beloved (and evidently unusually gifted) dog, Lolabelle. Anyone who has ever had a pet will empathize with her sorrow, and the yearning to memorialize a private, loving, if mute, relationship. Then there are Anderson’s more complex feelings towards her mother, who also passed away during this period. In many ways she seems to have represented everything Anderson wanted to get away from, but as we learn more, we see that even clear-cut emotions carry complicated cross-currents.
And then, finally, there is the ghost of Anderson’s late husband, Lou Reed, who is scarcely mentioned in the text and who only appears once, fleetingly, if you peel your eyes for him. Yet if he’s nowhere to be seen and heard, Reed can be felt in every frame, a dominating absence who casts a tender shadow over these images of friendship, joy, creativity and togetherness. It’s a film of quirky musings, free associations, spirituality and musical mutts, a movie that will delight and amuse but also make you feel less alone in the world.
LAURIE ANDERSON was born in Chicago and studied at Barnard College and Columbia University. An avant-garde performance, multimedia, and recording artist, she has had her work featured at the Guggenheim, MoMA, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She previously directed the concert film Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson (86). Heart of a Dog (15) is her latest feature.
Dreamy, drifty and altogether lovely… It joyfully embraces silliness… at times, it feels as if she too were haunting her movie even as, with every image and word, she fills it with life." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"Wildly inventive." AO Scott, The New York Times
"A dog is at the heart of this film, but there’s room for all manner of extraordinary insights about finding love and giving love, being canine and being human." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal