Home of the Brave
is a 1986 American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
concert film featuring the music of Laurie Anderson
Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s...
, who also directed the movie. The film's full on-screen title is Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson
. The performances were filmed at the Park Theater
The Park Performing Arts Center is a cultural center located at 32nd Street and Central Avenue in Union City, New Jersey, USA. Originally built by a church parish, it became a non-profit organization in 1983, and hosts appearances of local, national, and international artists as well as community...
in Union City, NJ during the summer of 1985.
The film included appearances by guitarist Adrian Belew
Adrian Belew is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer...
, author William S. Burroughs
William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th...
(who famously briefly dances a slow tango
Tango dance originated in the area of the Rio de la Plata , and spread to the rest of the world soon after....
with Anderson during one song), keyboardist Joy Askew, and percussionist David Van Tieghem
. Also, Barry Sonnenfeld
Barry Sonnenfeld is an American filmmaker and television director. He worked as cinematographer for the Coen brothers, then later he directed and produced big budget films such as Men in Black.-Life and career:...
, who was early in his movie-making career, receives an early film credit for operating "second projection camera" on this film. The film was released by Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...
, but was commercially unsuccessful.
A soundtrack album, which contained studio versions of some songs from the film, and live versions of others, was released concurrently with the film (see Home of the Brave (soundtrack)
Home of the Brave was the fourth album release by Laurie Anderson, issued in 1986. Released by Warner Bros. Records, it was a partial soundtrack album of her concert film of the same title....
). A music video for the song "Language is a Virus", using footage from the film but the studio recording of the song, received wide airplay.
The film was briefly available on VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...
in the early 1990s. Anderson has announced on her official website
that the film is to be released to DVD in the near future but no further details have been announced.
Musical selections included songs taken from Anderson's 1984 album, Mister Heartbreak
Mister Heartbreak is the second album by avant-garde artist, singer and composer Laurie Anderson, released in 1984.Considered more mainstream than its predecessor, Big Science, the album's lead track, "Sharkey's Day" formed the basis of a popular music video. Author William S...
(the film was shot during a tour in support of the album), as well as a couple of selections from her United States
United States Live was the third album release by avant-garde singer-songwriter Laurie Anderson. Released as a 5-record boxed set , the album was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City in February 1983.United States was Anderson's magnum opus performance-art piece featuring...
multimedia show of 1983 and several original pieces. Warner Brothers requested Anderson create a single-friendly release from the soundtrack, so she recorded a faster-tempo, "dance mix
Dance mix is a form of music, created by mixing Techno House and Electronica. It reached its peak of popularity in the mid to late 1990s. However, it can also imply manipulating alternative rock and adult contemporary songs that are otherwise not dance songs so that "pop songs" can be more...
" version of the song "Smoke Rings". Ultimately, this recording was not released; however, it can be heard during the All-Night Diner sequence of her short film What You Mean We?
What You Mean We? is the title of a 1987 American made-for-television musical short film starring singer Laurie Anderson, who also wrote and directed the piece.-Overview:...
The first song performed by Anderson in the film is "Excellent Birds", a collaboration with Peter Gabriel
Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, musician, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career...
from Mister Heartbreak
. Although Gabriel does not appear in this film and the song is not performed as a duet, Home of the Brave
was released a few months after a second version with Anderson was released as "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" on Gabriel's album, So
So is the fifth studio album by British rock musician Peter Gabriel, released in 1986. Many of its songs reflect a more conventional pop-writing style and became radio hits, while others still retain Gabriel's dark, brooding sense of experimentalism.It is Peter Gabriel's second album produced by...
Gabriel had also provided vocals for "Gravity's Angel" on Mister Heartbreak
. Guitarist Adrian Belew sings the part more prominently in the film.
The following pieces are performed in the film:
- Good Evening (instrumental)
- Zero and One (spoken word)
- Excellent Birds
- Old Hat (spoken word)
- Drum Dance (instrumental)
- Smoke Rings
- Late Show (instrumental with vocal sample by William S. Burroughs)
- White Lily (spoken word)
- Sharkey's Day
- How to Write (instrumental with spoken word introduction by Won-sang Park)
- Radar (instrumental with wordless vocalizations by Anderson)
- Gravity's Angel
- Langue D'Amour
- Talk Normal
- Difficult Listening Hour (spoken word)
- Language is a Virus
- Sharkey's Night
- Credit Racket (instrumental)
Only "Late Show", "White Lily", "Radar" and "Sharkey's Night" appear on the soundtrack album as they are performed in the film. Studio versions of "Smoke Rings", "Language is a Virus" and "Talk Normal" are used on the album, as is "Credit Racket" which is also a studio track, played over the closing credits in the film. None of the other performances in this film have to date been released in audio format.
In addition to the above, William Burroughs also performs two brief excerpts from "Sharkey's Night", the song he performs on Anderson's album Mr. Heartbreak.
In the film, Anderson performs the complete song herself at the end of the movie.