Laurie Anderson riffs on death in Venice

Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:22pm EDT
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By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - Laurie Anderson has never been conventional, so it is no surprise her film "Heart of a Dog" touches on the loss of both her rat terrier Lolabelle and her husband Lou Reed.

The U.S. musician and performance artist, whose work over the decades included the global pop hit "O Superman" and the post of artist in residence for the U.S. space agency NASA, said animals and humans were kindred spirits in eastern religions.

Anderson, 68, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that she did not make the film, which is competing for the top Venice Film Festival prize, as therapy for the loss of two important spirits in her life.

Instead, she hopes people who see it will learn to face death with open eyes.

Americans, she said, tend to deal with death "and war and a lot of other things just in the most remote way you can possibly think, the most hands-off way".

By contrast the rock musician Reed had always been a "fierce" artist, Anderson said.

"I still learn things every day about what he did, people tell me what he said and what he did and I think about it," she said

"You can imagine if you've lost your partner how that is," she added. "Fill in the blanks."   Continued...

Director Laurie Anderson attends the red carpet event for the movie "The Heart of  Dog" at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, northern Italy September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini