DVD Review: Heart of a Dog

Since the late 1960s Laurie Anderson has been busily creating and crafting her performance art and experimental music. The electronic pioneer is probably still best known for her single O Superman which brought her chart success in 1981. However, she’s been active across the cultural spectrum, from film-making to music and art. She’s remained prolific throughout, and invention has been at the forefront of her work.

Her latest venture, Heart of a Dog, is an experimental film which falls somewhere between autobiography, treatise and a tribute to her dog Lolabelle who died in 2011. Mixing archive footage, imagined scenes of the afterlife, Buddhist theory and reflections on her life, Anderson creates a textural collage of memories and emotions. Trained by Elizabeth Wiess, Lolabelle had many skills, including painting and piano playing.

Merging music, home videos and an active imagination, Heart of a Dog is a fascinating and innovative experimental film which peels back the layers on Anderson’s life. Whilst serving as a tribute it allows her to give a unique insight into her life, loves and beliefs. Heart of a Dog is rare thing; a film which feels like you’re looking through a treasured photo album whilst at the same time being a meditation on life, love, loss and death.

Heart of a Dog is released on DVD and on demand by Dogwoof on Monday.

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