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Film Features

Rigour And Play: Laurie Anderson's Favourite Films
Mat Colegate , January 22nd, 2016 09:27

On a recent visit to London the performance artist, director and musician took time out to talk about her 13 favourite films with Mat Colegate


Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1983)

Another film of music and images. It's a Phil Glass score and collapsing buildings. I grew up listening to Phil and going to his rehearsals and it would just be eight hours of 12 farfisas and this wonderful dreamlike world. Godfrey combined that music with these images of collapse. It's a really beautiful piece of music film, I guess. I wish there was a different name for a music film. I don't like 'video' because this is very different. It's very holophonic because the visuals start to have a really curious and interesting relationship to the soundtrack.

It's an avenue you’ve explored as well - how the relationship between film and music can change the relationship toward what you're seeing and how the viewer feels emotionally about it.

Well I think everybody uses music for emotional reaction. I try to make music which will leave a lot of room for the eye to see rhythm. I wasn't going to use music at all in my film (Heart Of A Dog). I thought it would be so much more hardcore to just use the vocal, but the producer said: “why don't you put some music on it?” I was like: “Why?” He was like: “Well, because you're a musician.” I was like: “OK.” So I did put music on but I didn't use any beats, because as soon as I started using beats it looked like a music video. I wanted to eye to slide around the different parts of the frame and to tease the eye rhythmically.