I was watching this movie tonight. It was a movie by Laurie Anderson. It was called Heart of A Dog, and it is kind of about her dog Lolabelle, and it is about the death of her mother and her friend and America as well, and mostly it is about death because it is a movie dedicated to Lou Reed, who was Laurie’s long time big love who died.
The thing about this movie is it isn’t the usual kind, with a beginning, middle and end. It has strands of stories, and some even fizzle out and come back later, with different pictures, and even different words, and some stories have two endings, and others stop in the middle, or before they even get started. They are a philosophy story moment.
The other confusing thing about this movie is that everything in it is true, from a story point of view, but not necessarily from a true point of view. So, you spend time in your head saying, “that is incredible, but did it really happen? Really? In real life?” And you don’t really know. And it’s so important and not important at exactly the same time. “Is that really, really where she lives?” “Is that really, really where Lolabelle came from?” “Is there really a Goya painting that is just gold ‘stuff’ with a tiny dog head at the bottom?” “Did she really almost drown, and then save, her twin baby brothers?” And while you are asking yourself these questions you are also understanding that truth is a feeling, and sometimes it is the wrong question, and a thing doesn’t need to be true to be real, in story time, because everything is about meaning.
In one ‘scene’ there are these awesome bare trees, moving in the snow. Everything is black and white, with tons of swirling snow falling, and black branches waving in the wind and snow. I became interested in one tree, because if you looked at it long enough it seemed to have a personality different from the others somehow. It seemed to move a little less, in a slower time to the others. Picture this; Laurie Anderson’s amazing, lyrical voice, saying things about dogs and death, her haunting music, and trees in the snow. And I am sure there was a ghost there behind that tree. A ghost short enough to be a dog, on all fours, behind the tree. And if I were a ghost, any ghost, waiting to move on, or forever earthbound somehow, I would choose that tree to be behind while I waited, for the next thing.
In the movie she suggests we come back to this, or another, world as another life. If I could choose, in that time of waiting, I would choose to be a dog, behind a tree, or a tree, in front of a dog.
This movie broke my heart a lot. It’s a huge responsibility of a movie. I loved it and it made me cry. And I came home and spoke words to my dogs, forgiving them for not being artistic, like Lolabelle. I don’t need them to be anything other than receivers of our love.
This blog post is part of a tandem blog post. 7 writers have been inspired by the same topic, Behind the Tree. Go here to read the next one. Candice D’arcy http://cldg2278.wix.com/findingmeinmelbourne