‘Do you want to see a film about Laurie Anderson’s dog?’ One of my friends asked me towards the end of last year. This could go one of two ways I thought with trepidation (dog’s breakfast or dog’s bollocks). Although it wasn’t exactly top of my to-do list; I like Laurie Anderson, I like dogs, and I never ever get round to booking tickets for the London Film Festival. So I tentatively said yes. And the film, Heart of a Dog, was absolutely lovely. Much warmer and funnier than I’d imagined. I liked it a lot. Heart of a Dog is a kind of stream of consciousness, home movie with animation and some extra footage. Neatly held together by the 68-year-old artist’s voice-over; it’s a film about life, love and the death of her mother, husband Lou Reed (‘for 21 years we tangled our hearts and minds together’ she said in a 2013 Rolling Stone exclusive) and terrier Lolabelle. It was brilliant to hear Anderson in conversation afterwards; so eloquent and calm.
As well as the film, my friend Annie also told me that Anderson has played a couple of canine concerts, in Sydney and New York (there’s an interview and short performance for six dogs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert HERE).
This year, Laurie Anderson is guest director of the 50th Brighton Festival, from 7-29 May, where there’ll be another pets performance. But as much as I liked the film, a ‘Music For Dogs’ gig, is, er, something you can’t lead me to.