News  ·  10 | 08 | 2022

Home of the Brave

Laurie Anderson | Piazza Grande

©Courtesy of Canal Street Communications

If a movie made more than thirty-five years ago is still capable of talking to a contemporary audience, it definitely means it faces some universal topics. In the case of Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave it’s an even more complex matter, because her concert film addresses many of the issues our society is struggling with right now: the disconnection between human beings, trapped in a technological golden cage where they fake their own happiness. The relationship between the single person and the machines which improve the quality of communication without improving the human, emotional level of it. Isn’t this something that we all are experiencing today? In 1986, Laurie Anderson showed the world that she understood the direction western society was heading and decided to warn us through a spectacular opera-concert. But she didn’t use the sterile tone of a sermon: Home of the Brave is joyous, colorful, a little crazy, filled with great songs and performing arts. Mixing together music, visual content and other forms of expression, this unique artist composed a sensorial puzzle that the viewer has to absorb first, and then decode. Laurie Anderson herself plays a sort of Master of Ceremonies in this psychedelic tour, an unstoppable minstrel who walks with us through a journey where we are going to face unforgettable moments of music. After the instrumental Good Evening, Zero and One (spoken) sets the tone of Home of the Brave: we live in a digital world, pretending we are still free from the pressure of becoming a 0 or a 1. And there’s nothing in between these two numbers…The irony that the concert film transpires for its hour and a half running time is probably its best quality. Home of the Brave confirms Laurie Anderson’s ability to be a multi-layered artist, whose witty body language turns her dance into an eclectic puppet that resembles something in between a mime and a silent cinema star like Charlie Chaplin. The metaphoric core of her movie is definitely the song Language is a Virus, in which she knowingly talks about the necessity of rediscovering the importance of words, not just absorbing them without any filter. In the end, Home of the Brave is not simply a great show: Laurie Anderson’s work is a dystopian, witty dialogue with the present and - now we know it - the future… 

Adriano Ercolani 

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