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Norway opens first dog cinema in Oslo


- The Norwegian premiere of Laurie Anderson’s new documentary, Heart of a Dog, was attended by 35 dogs and their owners

Norway opens first dog cinema in Oslo
Some dogs' hearts were clearly not in it (© Håkon Borg/Magpie Visuals)

“Woof woof woof woof,” said Marianne Zecca, managing director of Oslo’s Ringen Theatre multiplex, as she greeted the evening’s audience, and she got a yapping response from the packed Auditorium 3: half of the evening’s cinemagoers were 35 dogs, with their owners.

Already organising screenings for people with babies, senior citizens and people who want to knit while watching, the new and first fully digitised theatre in the Nordic countries (with six auditoria of 83-409 seats) has now opened its first dogs’ cinema, with US director Laurie Anderson’s new documentary, Heart of a Dog [+see also:
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“I am very fond of dogs, so this was exciting – a truly unique movie experience,” explained Zecca, of Norway’s Nordisk Film Cinemas. There were no age restrictions for the dogs, but they had to be accompanied by their owners (one dog/owner = one ticket). At the screening, the soundtrack was somewhat muted, and lighting in the auditorium was dimmed to prevent the dogs from being scared.

“We think it is very sporting of the Ringen Theatre to be part of this,” added marketing director Nille Stormoen, of Norwegian distributor Arthaus, which will release the film in Norway on 2 September. “With Anderson's obvious penchant for dogs, we couldn’t have had a better Norwegian premiere than a screening where dogs and owners could watch the movie together.”

Almost 30 years after directing her last feature, Home of the Brave (1986), the American avant-garde artist, composer and musician reflects on her relationship with her beloved – now deceased – piano-playing rat terrier, Lolabelle, but also on the deaths of her husband (US rock singer-songwriter Lou Reed) and mother, as well as family memories, surveillance and Buddhist teachings.

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