Heart of a Dog
In Heart of a Dog, renowned creative pioneer, Laurie Anderson, delivers a lament for her beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, exploring themes of love, life, death and loss in an impressionistic, deeply personal journey through one woman’s life, mind and art.
Beginning with an animated dream sequence in which Anderson imagines giving birth to Lolabelle (who passed away in 2011), this ethereal essay weaves together childhood memories, video footage and musings on a post-9/11 world and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife, as well as heartfelt tributes to artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her. Heart of a Dog combines witty, poetic narration with original music compositions, hand-drawn animation, home movies and artwork culled from past and present exhibitions, creating a hypnotic, collage-like visual language out of the raw materials of Anderson’s life and art, exploring how stories are constructed and told.
Anderson’s multi-decade career spans music, theater, visual art, performance art and more. She has released seven albums, published six books, had visual work shown at museums across the globe, including the Guggenheim in New York, and was NASA’s first artist in residence. Heart of a Dog marks her first feature-length film since 1986’s Home of the Brave.
Heart of a Dog was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards, and screened at several film festivals, including Telluride and the Venice, Toronto and New York festivals. Released theatrically in the U.S. to critical acclaim, the film is dedicated to Anderson’s husband, Lou Reed, the rock icon who died in 2013. His song “Turning Time Around” closes the film.
Anderson’s philosophical, thought-provoking reflections on her life and the lives of others offer a profound perspective on the struggles everyone faces in understanding death, as well as life’s journey.
Heart of a Dog was written and directed by Laurie Anderson; producers, Dan Janvey and Laurie Anderson; editors, Melody London and Katherine Nolfi; cinematographers, Laurie Anderson, Toshiaki Ozawa and Joshua Zuker-Pluda.