Laurie Anderson – The heart of a dog

There is clearly a strong influence from Tibetan monks’ practice throughout. Which would explain why the pacing of this film is so slow, hypnotic and meditative. This is all further enforced by the narrator’s slow, docile narration of the film. This gave the film a relaxed, gentle atmosphere. The use of both photos and video that would directly link to the narration, also caused the film to have a ‘bedtime story’ feel to it. Similar to an adult reading a child an illustrated book. This subconsciously emphasises the feeling of nurturing, calm.

However, the artwork that I have been producing recently has had an underlying angst to it. Which stems from existential anxiety and a mistrust of the world that I perceive. So I think that this sense of calm wouldn’t suit my current artwork.

The director would consistently use 2 photos and then a section of video. This consistency gave the film an interesting rhythm; similar to a heart beat. Which since, the pacing and takes are slow; this technique is calming. But if I used this technique in one of my films, I would make the ‘heartbeat’ much faster to suit the feeling of my existential crisis.

What interested me the most about this film was the subtle use of layering of footage throughout the film. Like raindrops on a pane of glass layered over footage of a dog. It was very simple, but transformed the footage to be more visually intriguing.

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