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"Dream with a Window" debuts at Cinema Center

Live music accompanies haunting short film

By Sean Smith

Fort Wayne Reader


Dream with a Window is the debut short film from Sean Townsend. Townsend has involved himself with plenty of musical projects over the years, notably, Somnambulist Red and, recently, Resonance Quartet. Cinema Center at Indiana Tech, located at 1600 East Washington Boulevard in the Andorfer Commons, will be screening the film between May 4th and the 9th. All screenings begin at 7 p.m. and will cost $3. However, the first screening will be the most unique. Those who wish to take in a double feature of Dream with a Window and the Korean film The Host can pay $7 to view both films.

The opening night screening of Dream with a Window will also be notable for the live score that Somnambulist Red will provide and the Q&A session that Townsend will conduct with the audience afterward. The second evening's audience will be treated to a live performance from Resonance Quartet following the film. Sunday evening's viewers will also be able to participate in a Q&A with Townsend. Although the film has already been shown at C2G and will be screened later this summer at Wooden Nickel, Townsend says this is the finest venue for a viewing of the film, "This is the pinnacle. This is the biggest, best showing I could have here in town."

Somnambulist Red, formed in 2001 by Alex Uelk and Sean Townsend, fell to a one-man project in 2002 and began to take shape as cerebral, atmospheric instrumental music. From 2002's “The Burning Silence of an Empty Shell” to “The Light in Our House is Dead” in 2004, both the conceptual integrity and the sonic architecture grew in sophistication towards a more cohesive, focused recording. All recordings, including the multidisc 'Dream with a Window' soundtrack, which will be released in the summer of 2007, have been captured by Townsend on a Roland VS-890 digital 8-track.

The recent formation of a live unit, for Somnambulist Red's live scoring performances, includes local artists Jay Carroll (formerly with The Orbiters, The Blaggards), James Rude (solo artist), John Cheesebrew (formerly with Dead Letter Auction, Graves of the Endless Fall) and Dylan Grigar (Danny Tanner & the messy vessie, Shmektheiben) accompanying Townsend to form a unique sound. To Townsend's knowledge, this is the first locally-made film to be scored live. The live score serves to heighten the intensity and interactive experience of an otherwise two-dimensional platform.

Dream with a Window began production in September of 2004 and was filmed in Northeast Indiana. Final edit took place in November of 2006, with the assistance of Monte Patterson. The cast is limited to Kelly Campbell, Leona Campbell and an abandoned red house. The film is very visually driven, drawing influences from other painter/filmmakers like David Lynch, Peter Greenaway and Terry Gilliam. Although there is no dialogue, which adds to the haunting, dreamlike quality of the film, the music becomes itself, a character, replacing narration with resonant, audio emotion. "The way I describe the film is a meditation on suicide, depression, psychosis," offers Townsend, "It's a different approach to narrative. As the film went along the idea became more and more clear. When I got Kelly on board it became clear the direction the film should go. Everything I had written out ahead of time got scratched. I learned as much about the film as it went along. I had a mood or an essence and by letting it happen it came out a lot better than if I had forced it to be."

For more information, check out: myspace.com/somnambulistred

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