Lost in the Movies: Heart of a Dog (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #50)

Heart of a Dog (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #50)

An experimental documentary as much imaginative memoir and meditation as study of certain times and places (including New York in the wake of 9/11), Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog is a fascinating tour de force. I covered it originally for patrons in 2018 as one of my earliest podcasts (so please forgive the echo-y sound quality and the different vantage point on the passage of time). This was a few years after its release and a few more years after the death of Laurie's husband, legendary Velvet Underground leader Lou Reed. His presence haunts the film without ever being made explicit; instead, Anderson focuses on the passing of her beloved pet dog. Among the fascinating themes and subjects onscreen are Anderson's recollections of childhood accidents including a horrifying diving disaster (as well as the consequent stay in the burn ward of a children's hospital) and a fall through thin ice; the different vibes of War on Terror-era Manhattan vs. coastal Northern California; the storage of NSA spying information in massive desert facilities compared to the pyramids; and the formal approach to a dazzling visual experience with and without the accompaniment of storytelling narration.

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