Movie Review: Heart of A Dog

Heart of a Dog is a documentary by artist/musician Laurie Anderson about her very deep relationship with her canine.

heart of a dog.laurie andersonIt’s Tuesday, November 17, the last day that the Spectrum 8 Theatre will be under the current ownership. Come Friday, November 20, the cinema will reopen under the control of the chain, Landmark Theaters.

The current owners insist the new company will keep it just the same. Keith and Sugi Pickard gave me that message the previous Saturday at the APL Foundation Library Gala, and Keith, who’s helping with the concession stand queue repeats the message this night to the Wife and me. I’ve been going there, or to its predecessor, the 3rd Street Cinema in Rensselaer, since 1980.

There are a number of films I’d like to see. But the one playing that seemed avant-garde, least mainstream, most Spectrum-like, was Heart of a Dog, a documentary by artist/musician Laurie Anderson about her very deep relationship with her canine, but also about her late mother, post 9/11 surveillance, and memory. Her late husband Lou Reed makes a brief appearance. It’s impressionistic and meditative and contemplative and musical, and occasionally very funny. Go read some nice reviews, 97% positive on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sugi Pickard watched that single screening. So did Cathy Frank, the legendary namesake of Cathy’s Waffles in ’80s Albany, who posted her disastrous-looking but still apparently tasty waffles on her Facebook page. It was a Smallbany event of sorts, the end of an era, like the apparent demise of Metroland after 38 years, or the closing of Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry in Albany after 67 years.

Oh, and it was my mom’s birthday, and Laurie was remembering what thing her mom said to her that most sticks to her mind. And it got me thinking some more about MY mom’s words to me. And it was…soothing to contemplate.

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