Occidental Professor Creates 12-Hour Film for Santa Monica's GLOW Event

Occidental College professor and composer Bruno Louchouarn is part of a team that has created a 12-hour film for GLOW, a free all-night interactive art and music event this Saturday, Sept. 25, on Santa Monica Beach.


Louchouarn, an assistant professor of the theory and practice of multimedia at the College, is the cinematographer and composer of the score for "Day for Night," the film he created with wife Corey Madden, the film's director and writer, and visual producer Keith Mitchell. The creative team has previously worked together on projects such as the award-winning play, "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

The lyrical and meditative "Day for Night" focuses on a section of the Santa Monica Beach from dawn to nightfall using both professional actors and passers-by. Louchouarn filmed the beach on an early June day, when the weather ranged from dreary and overcast to bright sun and blue skies. The camera captured scenes such as children playing in the sand, a couple reuniting, and a lone man walking into the waves.

"We had the idea of a site-specific film using the beach as a liminal zone where time stops," Louchouarn said.

Before creating the film, whose title is taken from a film technique in which night scenes are shot in daylight using filters, the team watched film classics such as Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" and Fellini's "La Strada" that feature iconic beach scenes. They realized that the beach was a blank canvas upon which sadness, romance and other emotions are heightened. The scenes are titled according to the time of day, such as "Dawn" and "Evening," and unspool slowly.

"The whole film is one long, continuous take without any repetition. The rate of change is slow, but the scenes are very beautiful and mesmerizing," Louchouarn said. "In some ways, it is like the hands of a clock. You don't see them move, but every hour the picture will look different."

It was a challenge to compose enough music to accompany all 12 hours of the film, he said. Louchouarn performs most of the instruments, such as piano, percussion, clarinet, guitar, strings, and electronics. The result is a hypnotic score that embodies the ocean's "slow, evolving quality" and blurs the boundaries between musical genres such as classical, ambient and electronica.

"Movement and narrative scenes have a shape, a metabolism of sorts, and the music must resonate with that, but not overwhelm it," Louchouarn added.

"Day for Night," will be screened at the exact location it was filmed -- just south of the Santa Monica Pier. The film will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 6:44 a.m. It is the only project that will exceed the 3 a.m. closing of GLOW, a free dusk-to-dawn biannual event that features the interactive work of international, national and local artists. Santa Monica joins cities such as Paris, Toronto, Rome and Brussels that produce such "white night" events.

The film is just one of 20 thought-provoking art installations at GLOW this Saturday. One project is a touch-sensitive installation inspired by the DNA helix. Another GLOW installation features a 200-ft. long "land bridge" composed of cable and electroluminescent wire that takes people from the end of the Bay Street boardwalk almost to the shore.

For more information about "Day for Night," go to: http://glowsantamonica.org/day-for-night/.

Short video clips of "Day for Night" can be seen at: http://web.mac.com/blouchou/iWeb/GLOW/home.html.

For more information about GLOW, go to http://glowsantamonica.org/.