Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

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Magic Hate Ball
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:15 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

#1 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:07 pm

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I've seen this a couple times since it went up on Youtube, and I keep loving it more and more. It's like a more aggressive, weird, grungy version of Stop Making Sense - not as artfully directed or as toe-tappingly listenable (one segment is actually called Difficult Listening Hour) but almost more interesting just because of how strange and beguiling Laurie Anderson is herself. She emcees the performance with a sort of charming menace, guiding the show towards the apocalypse of Sharkey's Night.

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It was briefly available on VHS and Laserdisc, and then never again (the Youtube video is presumably from the latter), but Anderson's hinted at an upcoming DVD/BR release, which I'm tentatively excited about. I don't know what the chances are of it coming to fruition but I'll be all over it if it does. Noninterlaced windowboxed 360p Youtube is not the ideal way to view this.

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So yeah, I dunno, anyone else familiar with this? I've been really into Anderson lately (the way she mixes dry observational humor with this sense of encroaching doomsday is really killer) and it's too bad her other performance pieces weren't visually recorded. I guess at least her albums are well-produced.

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Lowry_Sam
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:35 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

#2 Post by Lowry_Sam » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:08 pm

I haven't seen it since it's theatrical release in the mid 80s. I did like it quite a bit & it made me regret not having seen her live concert series at the Brooklyn Academy (which made up her America I - IV box set, which is when she was really at the peak of her creativity esp. in incorporating technology into her performance.....sort of a one-woman blue man group. I was always disappointed there isn't any video of her earlier performances. Her subsequent concert tour after her 2nd album (used in this film) is a bit more slick visually, a little less political & clearly more directed to the MTV generation. Nice to see that it's finally coming to digital......hope there's some good extras.

Now if only Grace Jone's One Man Show gets the same treatment, I can be content.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

#3 Post by zedz » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:27 pm

It's a fine film, but as Sam Lowry says, that's mainly because it's the closest thing we have to a film of 'United States Live'. That box set is absolutely essential listening and probably the best thing Anderson's ever released, but some of the pieces lose a lot without the visual element. (If I recall correctly, 'Steven Weed' is a great example of this. On the disc you get the ping-ponging stereo effect, but it's only in a filmed performance that you actually see the result of this, which provides the punchline.)

j99
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 am

Re: Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

#4 Post by j99 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:26 am

I have the VHS, but unfortunately it's never received a dvd release for some reason. Hopefully this will change. I haven't watched it for a long time, but thought it was excellent when I first saw it. Visually it's spectacular. Stop Making Sense is a good comparison; never thought of that before, but I prefer Home Of The Brave, probably because Laurie Anderson is a unique and singular artist.

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Magic Hate Ball
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:15 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Home of the Brave (Laurie Anderson, 1986)

#5 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:08 am

There are a lot of things I'd give to have been able to see United States Live in person, it's such a shame so little of it was visually recorded, or at least is easily available to find on the internet (though I've considered buying the accompanying book that was released alongside it). It's definitely fun being able to see Anderson moving about on-stage, and some of the visual tricks are still really fresh (I totally dig the giant head at the start of Talk Normal). One major perk of a Blu-ray release would be I could finally rip a nice-sounding version of the live Sharkey's Day.

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