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Kritiker-Rezensionen
Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson USA, 2015
Because the voice and the music and the imagery work so beautifully together in Heart of a Dog, it’s easy to not quite appreciate how great—that is, capital-G Great—Anderson’s writing is. There are several features to its greatness: its plainspokenness; there’s no verbal obfuscation. But there is contrivance, of the best kind…
December 06, 2016
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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.
December 01, 2016
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A personal essay, rather free form in its structure but intriguing because Anderson is such a unique personality. Not all the sections work, but the overall effect is spending 75 minutes with an intelligent and creative person and getting an insight into how they think.
September 14, 2016
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Laurie Anderson’s voice has the quality of a meditative yoga instructor. During Heart of a Dog, she speaks precisely and calmly over a collage of expressionist images, as if to hypnotise the viewer into a perpetual dream state. The result is a moving essay film that lulls you into a sensory-laden trance. In this headspace, we are given the freedom to consider storytelling and memory in a new light.
May 19, 2016
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The apparently free-associative peregrinations of Anderson’s voiceover are anything but random, and as she weaves together anecdote, autobiography, current events and demotic philosophy, the same themes recur in new guises… As Heart of a Dog plays through, its junky, rinky-tink imagery acquires a sense of greater depth and weight, even elegance – the expression of a story that discovers itself in the telling.
April 29, 2016
A moving reflection on interspecies kinship, grief, and memory.
February 09, 2016
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HEART OF A DOG is a bold, adventurous documentary that ponders deep questions and is unlike anything you’ve seen.
January 22, 2016
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In times of significant loss, the human mind searches for and projects filmic forms and Anderson’s playful, elegiac, formally adventurous film might best be described as a gorgeous manifestation of this very idea.
January 18, 2016
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Unfortunately the film’s pleasures are largely limited to the vocal and textual, as Anderson’s images never feel much more than a mildly pretty accompaniment to the main attraction of her voice. The problem is also one of literalism, as nearly everything on the voiceover is parroted in the images to an almost ridiculous degree, the contrast between the former’s unbridled invention and the latter’s timid deference being as glaring as they come.
December 16, 2015
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In her Heart of a Dog (2015) at the AFF, musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson lends poignant cinematic form to grief and to mourning. This is not a grief-stricken film (it is often very funny), though its subject matter makes for intensely moving and heart-breaking stuff.
December 16, 2015
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Anderson’s greatest weapon, unsurprisingly, is her voice, which she uses to bridge the diaphanous images together in crisp cadences that are subtly invested with great wells of feeling.
December 12, 2015
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This tone of reflection and beatitude defines Heart of a Dog, a film that points to the palpability of loss by speaking slowly, showing the spaces where things used to be, and reminding us that every silly scene of a dog playing the piano is a moment out of time: a snapshot of a ghost the world will soon forget, but who will haunt the low, small corners of someone’s peripheral vision.
December 03, 2015
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Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog is not just a movie but a guided meditation, drawing viewers into a state of peaceful contemplation from which they can consider such subjects as death, loss, and unconditional love.
November 12, 2015
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Overall, Anderson’s film is a mostly compelling venture that will capture the imagination of some, and appall and alienate others. While Heart of a Dog is not without its problems, the fact that Anderson manages to conjure a satisfying semblance of finality from the conclusion of her sprawling and joyfully messy narrative speaks volumes of the talent on display here – even if it may not be evident in every frame.
October 25, 2015
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Radical or not, Heart of a Dog is the ultimate realist narrative. It flows along, mimicking the continuous, fleeting, fragmentary flow of consciousness, the haze that lies between sleeping and waking, even between death and whatever lies behind it. And you don’t have to follow Anderson into Buddhism to admire the common touch of the questions she poses.
October 22, 2015
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I must confess that at the outset, I found the trademark voice Anderson uses to deliver her text—a lilting deadpan made aggravatingly overblown by her pronounced pauses between words—close to intolerable; for as much sympathy as I, a superfan of the four-footed, had for her project, I struggled in the first fifteen minutes to enter it. But so absorbing, and apposite, are Anderson’s digressions in this wide-ranging documentary that I eventually accustomed myself to these vocal tics.
October 21, 2015
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Anderson’s film is essentially about storytelling—a theme the artist/filmmaker/musician has been exploring since the start of her long and storied career. Here, her voice carries us into a kaleidoscope of images, textures, and music that evoke both human and canine experiences of the world.
October 21, 2015
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The sections where Anderson describes the life, lovability and eventual death of Lolabelle are as sentimental as anything in “Lassie” or “My Dog Skip.” Anderson’s intelligence and sincerity make the tears honest and cathartic.
October 21, 2015
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The images Anderson has assembled and created for this personal essay are reasonably apt, if sometimes blandly “poetic.” But it’s her idiosyncratic thoughts, anecdotes, and assorted musings, conveyed via voiceover narration and delivered in her trademark semi-robotic deadpan, that make Heart Of A Dog a worthwhile addition to her ongoing multimedia project, which now spans roughly five decades.
October 20, 2015
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Although “Heart of a Dog” can seem somewhat shapeless at first glance, as if Ms. Anderson were just aimlessly floating from topic to topic, she is recurrently circling back rather than simply moving forward. Much like a philosopher, she advances, loops back, deepens the argument and then she advances again and circles back once more. At times, it feels as if she too were haunting her movie even as, with every image and word, she fills it with life.
October 20, 2015
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[Anderson] blends personal and public histories to create a palimpsest upon which the capturing of singular, immediate emotion exists beside reflective, historical assessments. Such passages are often staggering in their breadth of insight. Voiceover drives Heart of a Dog, but Anderson’s unsettling audio-visual design gives the film its primary identity as a cine-poem on love and loss.
October 19, 2015
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Anderson has forged a highly accessible dialogue between her complex, sophisticated concerns—her Crime and Punishment side, if you like—and the childlike, ludic dimension of her persona that has always been a key part of her work, recorded, performed, or otherwise. Heart of a Dog is not Anderson’s first venture into filmmaking, but it has an invention and a candid freshness that make it feel like a debut film by someone that you’d want to hear more from.
October 16, 2015
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Anderson isn’t building toward ratifying her own voice—though she’s ever-present on the soundtrack, she’s rarely on screen—but toward understanding and coping with the absence of others. Yes, she’s employing elements of her life to express something about her life, but she’s also using it as a metaphor for things universal and philosophical. While Mekas’s film insists on presence, Anderson’s is preoccupied with absence.
October 09, 2015
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This heartbreaking and sometimes funny portrait of mourning, grief, and regeneration takes as its starting point the loss of Anderson’s beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle… Anderson’s film moves and feels like an album, variations on a theme coursing in waves of emotion and feeling, an experience that’s both free associative and rigorously controlled.
October 08, 2015
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In keeping with Anderson’s multihyphenate abilities, the approach here is decidedly mixed-media, blending animation, surveillance footage, home movies, a spellbinding score (by the director herself), and intimate, ruminating voice-over. This is smart, silly, sad, and relentlessly honest — one of the most moving and provocative films you’ll see this year.
September 26, 2015
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[It’s] an impressionistic and lyrical meditation about memory, grief, loss and love, one that is prone to constant interruptions, digressions and flights of fancy. It’s a risky film because such personal expression, particularly those accompanied by animation and free-flowing thought, can be prone to solipsism. But here, Anderson is anything but. She’s poetic, she’s insightful, and her descriptions of her dog are at once loving, amusing, and spiritually connected to deeper ideas about grief.
September 20, 2015
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It must be said that Heart of a Dog would have been a noticeably superior movie if Anderson’s voiceover had soundtracked a black screen rather than some nondescript visuals more appropriate for use as a Windows screensaver.
September 15, 2015
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It’s mostly about death, though it’s among the most cheerful and inquisitive movies about death I’ve ever seen. Anderson has lots of reasons to be thinking about this subject: Her beloved Lolabelle no longer walks this Earth, and the film is dedicated to her late husband, Lou Reed, who died in 2013. And if her observations lean a bit too heavily on Buddhist philosophy, there’s still something comforting about the way she ultimately connects the idea of loss with the nature of enduring love.
September 11, 2015
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Reed’s appearance arrives like a punch in the gut, at once so deeply personal and unexpected that it temporarily removes you from all of the heartfelt confessing that Anderson has done up until that point… This sort of manipulation, which makes no attempt at naturalism, forms the visual backbone of Heart of a Dog: storm clouds are overlaid with swaths of oranges and blues swarming with jagged pixels; the movements of an ice skater, shot on 8mm, are warped through distorting effects.
September 03, 2015