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Heart of a Dog 

Wednesday, Nov 11 2015
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To call a Laurie Anderson project "experimental" is to somewhat miss the point, because she always knows exactly what she's doing, and whether or not you grasp the meaning in her work has always been more your problem than hers. But Anderson's dreamy documentaryHeart of a Dogis one of her more outwardly accessible works, and also one of the best movies of the year.Heartis a reflection not only on the life and death of her beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle, but on life and death in general, viaTheTibetan Book of the Dead.(It's by far the best primer on that tome since Gaspar Noe'sEnter the Void.) Further, Heart takes on the post-9/11 surveillance state, apocalyptic predictions, and the passing of Anderson's husband Lou Reed. It's non-linear at best, often going in seemingly random directions, as though it were just a visual interpretation of Anderson's musings one afternoon. But that sort of free association has always been the beauty of Anderson's work, andHeart of a Dogcollages disparate source material such as animation, her own artwork, and plenty of iPhone footage of Lolabelle before she traveled into the Bardo. To repeat: Laurie Anderson films her pet on her iPhone! See? She's not so different from us after all.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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