Laurie Anderson’s reputation as an aggressive avant-gardist seems utterly mysterious in the face of this blandly filmed concert movie, which is about as experimental as an HBO Kenny Rogers special. Anderson’s act consists largely of assembling the symbols to suggest that she has some special, superior knowledge: she surrounds herself with hip ethnics (two black women singers, an oriental kayageum player), electronically modified instruments, and computer-generated animation—all put forward as signs that she knows things, on both the technological and spiritual levels, that we poor mortals do not. The guru pose always depends on the guru’s ability to suggest his knowledge without actually revealing it, and Anderson is a master of the technique, sending up elaborate smoke screens that look impressive while hiding the essential superficiality of her thinking. When she turns William S. Burroughs’s famous observation “Language is a virus” into a song lyric, and then drags out Burroughs himself to dance a tango, she’s just turning art into MTV. There’s something deeply reactionary in Anderson’s insistence that her audience perceive her as a god, and also something deeply boring. 90 min.