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'Heart of a Dog' is a confounding, transfixing mélange

'Heart' is directed by Laurie Anderson and centers on her late, beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle. The film is really a meditation on death and the ways in which we come to terms with it. 

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Laurie Anderson's new movie is about her dog, Lolabelle (pictured).

Courtesy of Abramorama/HBO Documentary Films

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Laurie Anderson, the great performance artist, musician, storyteller, video memoirist – the list goes on – has made a one-of-a-kind movie, “Heart of a Dog,” that centers on her late, beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle. Lest this sound coy or cutesy, rest assured results are never that. The film is really a meditation on death and the ways in which we come to terms with it. (Anderson’s husband, Lou Reed, and her mother both died within a few years of Lolabelle.)

Anderson works in animation and home movies (Lolabelle “playing” the piano is a wonder), and Anderson’s voice-over narration is closer in quality to song than to spoken word. It’s a confounding, transfixing mélange. Grade: A- (This film is not rated.)

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