Out and About
Heart of a Dog – A Film by Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog is now playing in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. “Hello, little bonehead. I’ll love you forever.” So begins HEART OF A DOG, creative pioneer Laurie Anderson’s wry, wondrous and unforgettable cinematic journey through love, death and language.
Centering on Anderson’s beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who died in 2011, HEART OF A DOG is a personal essay that weaves together childhood memories, video diaries, philosophical musings on data collection, surveillance culture and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife, and heartfelt tributes to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her.
Fusing her own witty, inquisitive narration with original violin compositions, hand-drawn animation, 8mm home movies and artwork culled from exhibitions past and present, Anderson creates a hypnotic, collage-like visual language out of the raw materials of her life and art, examining how stories are constructed and told — and how we use them to make sense of our lives.
With Heart of a Dog, Anderson bursts open the conventions of the documentary format and the essay film in her first feature since the 1986 concert movie Home of the Brave.
Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned — and daring — creative pioneers. She is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. As writer, director, visual artist and vocalist she has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater and experimental music. Her recording career, launched by “O Superman” in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film HOME OF THE BRAVE and “Life on a String” (2001). Anderson’s live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances such as “Songs and Stories for Moby Dick” (1999). Anderson has published seven books and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world.
In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance “The End of the Moon”. Recent projects include a series of audio-visual installations and a high-definition film, “Hidden Inside Mountains,” created for World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. In 2007 she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. In 2008 she completed a two-year worldwide tour of her performance piece, “Homeland,” which was released as an album on Nonesuch Records in June 2010. Anderson’s solo performance “Delusion” debuted at the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad in February 2010. In October 2010 a retrospective of her visual and installation work opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil and later traveled to Rio de Janiero. In 2011 her exhibition of new visual work titled “Forty-Nine Days In the Bardo” opened in Philadelphia, and “Boat,” her first exhibition of paintings, curated by Vito Schnabel in New York.
The purpose of death is the release of love – Laurie Anderson, ‘Heart of a Dog’
Now playing until November 12th at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox
Regina @ Regina Public Film Library on November 12th
Ottawa @ Bytowne on November 20th
Vancouver @ Vancity on December 11th
Running time: 75 min.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.