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Showing posts with label Heart of a Dog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heart of a Dog. Show all posts

Monday, 24 July 2017

I didn't know the art world, I didn't know living... artists existed ~ Marc Quinn

This is a review of David Lynch : The Art Life (2016)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


This is a review of David Lynch : The Art Life (2016)







David Lynch with Jack Nance during the making of Eraserhead (1977)





Film-references (in alphabetical order) :

* Calvet

* Heart of a Dog (2015)

* Marc Quinn : Making Waves (2014)

* The Confession (2016)




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Best on screen so far in 2016 (including re-watch)

Best on screen so far in 2016 (including re-watch)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2016 (20 to 27 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


6 June

Best on screen so far in 2016 (including re-watch)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Un cane e il cuore ?

This is a Festival review of Heart of a Dog (2015)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


12 November (Tweets added, 19 December, 26-28 May 2016)

This is a Festival review of Heart of a Dog (2015)

This is a review, resulting from a screening at Hyde Park Picture House (@HydeParkPH), Leeds, during Leeds International Film Festival (@leedsfilmfest, #LIFF29)



Heart of a Dog (2015) is personal, but universal, and Laurie Anderson provokes us to examine our thoughts and feelings about the mortality of others, and that of ourselves. What we have to know in her film, we will - over time - be told, but we most need to give ourselves over to its visual aspects, which, for some, might be a testing fifteen minutes or so of confusion, unless they learn to be able to yield to the purely cinematic nature of what is to be seen*. For, although there is a narrative to this work, it is not just or even the one that we may take it to be, and images and words are allusive in ways at which we can only later begin to grasp, maybe not whilst still in the cinema.

Hearing excerpts of the soundtrack, through the ministry of Fiona Talkington’s (@fionatalkington’s) recent fortnight on Radio 3’s (@BBCRadio3’s) Late Junction (#LateJunction), had created a little apprehension about what watching Heart of a Dog (2015) - what might it be like, and was it going to be any good ? However, what had been heard was a pale shadow of the film itself, but it did usefully preview some of its meditative and authorial traits, as well as introducing the characteristics of Anderson’s composed sound-world. This film is in the league of complete works of art, which meant that what had been broadcast proved somewhat misleading about the strength of the whole : if one knows Psycho (1960), Herrmann’s score may be divorced from it and evoke its scenes with success (or, for that matter, the soundtrack could – as Scorsese suggests in Hitchcock / Truffaut (2015) – be removed without affecting the power of, and story contained in, Hitchcock’s shots).

Anderson’s principal presence is in a voice-over, which takes a while to materialize, and is sometimes silent for periods at a time. (Perhaps because of an issue with the DCP, or with the audio-system, that emanation did not seem altogether seamless ?) Again, it makes this film hers, but it does so quite without forcing it or her beliefs on us. Although she consults her spiritual teacher, and reports what her teacher told her, this is not even in the nature of confession, or of imparting immutable truth, but as one wanting to understand what it might be for another to die – and, thus, for Anderson herself to die – and to present that as a matter for consideration and enquiry.



That other may (initially) be a dog, and Anderson and others who know Lolabelle may have been guided to decisions with which some might take issue (i.e. as to what was right or clinically best for her), but we should not be put off by that : the question of this death and dying is not an isolated, maudlin one, but opens out to ask what we perceive of life, and what it and reality could consist in. When Anderson talks to us, she is gregarious in this role, and willing to share – whether it is through her wry humour, or by expressing her pain or uncertainty, that is what she wants to convey, rather than any claim to insight or to observations with which we cannot find a relation.

In some moments, where Anderson is choosing to be sparing with spoken words, she lets other aspects of the film talk to us : the richness comes through in a sort of surrender, in which one senses that she probably surrendered her own preconceptions about what this film was to be, along with artistic judgements of a highly conscious kind, to the organizational forces within memory, pattern, and illusion. The images, and recollections as to their shifting shape, colour, and formation, are what remain with us after this film – the strong sense of an artist engaging deeply with issues about our relations with each other, and what, in them and in us, make us who we feel ourselves to be.










End-notes

* One can read, in the comments on IMDb, the horribly literal expectations of Leviathan (2012) that it is accused of having disappointed…




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)