ADiff review: Laurie Anderson’s five-star dogumentary

Anderson’s late dog Lolabelle recorded a ‘pretty good’ Christmas album and learned to paint and sculpt in her later years

Heart of a Dog
    
Director: Laurie Anderson
Cert: Club
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Archie, Jason Berg, Heung-Heung Chin
Running Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Light House 1, Friday 26th, 8.30pm, 75 min

Following on from Jean-Luc Godard's tribute to his canine companion Roxy Miéville in last year's Goodbye to Language, the deeply moving and strangely exhilarating Heart of a Dog is experimental artist Laurie Anderson's tribute to her late, beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle. A floaty, associational essay that touches on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Buddhist meditation, 9/11 and childhood recollections, Anderson's film is slyly coherent: one particular train of thought juggles NSA surveillance, Kierkegaard and Anderson's late husband, Lou Reed, whose Turning Around Time plays over the end credits. Lolabelle's life and art – she recorded a "pretty good" Christmas album and learned to paint and sculpt in her later, blind years – proves a useful springboard for Anderson to consider death.

Can't see this? Watch Richard Gere's affecting portrayal of a homeless man in Time Out of Mind. Savoy 1, Friday 26th, 7.30pm, 120 min

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic