On December 29, 2015; our Art in Film group reviewed Heart of a Dog. An impressionistic and musical meditation on a pets death with prelude by the artist Laurie Anderson, who enjoyed a very deep relationship with her dog, with following soundtrack.The film centers on her remembrances of her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle. Scenes range from realistic footage from the animal’s life to imagined scenes of Lolabelle’s passage through the bardo (according to Tibetan tradition, refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth). It also includes other reflections on life and death including Anderson’s experiences in life in downtown New York after 9/11.
Bebe Nagel, Carol Weissman, Caryn W., Gerrie Beck, Glenn Lippman (Discussion/Review Leader), Jonathan Kahn, Josh W., Judy Moskowitz and Rose.
Suggested Movie Headlines included: Laurie Anderson Free Association of Death; Picture of Life; Love, Death, Surveillance, and RatTerriers; Love & Death; Psychedelic Philosophy.
Most Memorable Scenes: Snowing in Chicago; Ice Skater; Dog as Prey; Loss of Freedom; Impermanence of all living things; Dog Playing the Piano.
Lolabelle and Anderson connection: Soulmate, Symbiotic
We learned about mixed media, Tibetan traditions, Sudden Infant Death. Several profound quotes: “Purpose of death was release of love.” And in defining night, “we fall through time, and Day is the space between Nights.”
Photography was excellent and more specifically scenes photographed well included: Hiking and Dog Walk; Unfocused scenes; windowshield photo shots; mountain scenes, rolling backwards to illustrate bardo; and various dream states.
Summary. Movie included several dark undertones in a very artistic illustration on connection between mother daughter; a love connection with her dog and family memories. A shared view by all of our reviewers was that this film scores high for originality, photography and uniqueness.
Our reviewers reviewed this film with a broad range of scores from a low of 20% to a high of 93% and an average of 68%.
Review reported by Glenn Lippman.
“Varied opinions, and a terrific discussion. Personally, I like the movie!” Caryn W.
“Kudos to Glenn for leading a very good discussion about a movie that was controversial. We didn’t hold back and had lots of laughs too!” Gerrie Beck