The Festival’s flagship section, gutsy cinema that breaks new ground
| 75 minutes | 2015
Laurie Anderson is one of the most famous modern American artists. Music, sculpture, drawing, performance: since the 1960s she has created a vast and celebrated multidisciplinary body of work. Now she has ventured into film with a first feature that reflects several of her obsessions. Heart Of A Dog is born of the losses she suffered in 2011: her mother; her husband, Lou Reed; and her beloved dog, Lolabelle, died one after the other that year. Seeking catharsis, Anderson combines animation, Super 8 home movies, collages and a great deal of music, from a string quartet to ambient electronica. Her own memories are drawn out through a deep engagement with Buddhist teachings, particularly the concept of bardo, a mysterious forty-nine-day period between death and reincarnation, embodying the permeability of identity and the mystery of transmission. The artist narrates this deeply personal project herself; it is a visual oddity that makes associations between disparate thoughts and images in a stream-of-consciousness mode that exposes the cognitive process and the genesis of thoughts. A singular cinematic essay and an evocative meditation on identity.
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