Critic’s Choice: Laurie Anderson’s ‘Heart of a Dog’ finds a home at Criterion Collection
Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog,” her first film in nearly three decades, is a wondrously personal and ruminative work — a collage of musings on memory, language, grief and post-9/11 malaise, all refracted through a loving tribute to the director’s dearly departed rat terrier, Lolabelle. It is also a subtly wrenching elegy for Anderson’s late husband, the musician Lou Reed, to whose “magnificent spirit” the film is dedicated.
Interweaving animation, home movie clips and newly shot footage, the movie is held together by Anderson’s own voice-over and music, though the Criterion Collection release (on Blu-ray and DVD, both due out Tuesday) includes an alternate no-music soundtrack. All the better, perhaps, to appreciate a fluid, free-associative journey that, not unlike Lolabelle and the other dogs we see on screen, likes to sniff around — and invites the viewer to do the same.
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