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Lyrical and powerfully personal essay film that reflects on the deaths of her husband Lou Reed, her mother, her beloved dog, and such diverse subjects as family memories, surveillance, and Buddhist teachings.

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Heart of a Dog movie full length review - An artist's meditation on deaths, etc.

Well, I am pretty sure that Laurie Anderson created the movie she intended to.

That may sound like faint praise, but if you appreciate Anderson's work (as I do) it will make you want to see it. I will let you know up front, though, that despite the blurb not a very high percentage of the movie is really about her dog, so if you are looking for a dog movie per se this isn't really it.

It will not surprise anyone who knows Anderson's musical work that this work can't really be described as some kind of narrative or clearly spelled out philosophical message. It is more like a collage, if you will, including some stories or descriptive language about the dog, about episodes in Anderson's life, about deaths and instances of the danger of death, about New York after 9/11, about Tibetan Buddhism and its view of death. This all sounds rather grim, but it isn't. After death (in the Tibetan Buddhist view) there is a 49-day period or process called the "bardo" in which the soul prepares to enter a new form. It seems to involve a reprocessing and re-recognition of experiences somehow, and in fact the movie itself may be sort of a picture of the bardo. The collage is displayed on a background of images and sounds including Anderson's own creative work.

I really don't think I can say much else that would enable you to better predict whether you would like the film or not. I didn't watch it and have epiphanies and come away feeling that I understood my place in the universe much better, but I don't feel as if I wasted my time; Anderson is a brilliant and interesting person, and spending an hour and a half with her thoughts is well worth it - to me anyway.