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Impossible Light (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Drama | 8 March 2014 (USA)
'Impossible Light' follows Internationally renowned artist, Leo Villareal and his dedicated team as they set out to install 25,000 LED lights on the side of San Francisco's Bay Bridge for ... See full summary »


Jeremy Ambers


Jeremy Ambers, Kathi Wheater (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Timothy Childs Timothy Childs ... Self
Amy Critchett Amy Critchett ... Self
Ben Davis Ben Davis ... Self
Dorka Keehn Dorka Keehn ... Self
Gavin Newsom ... Self
Mark Pauline Mark Pauline ... Self
Leo Villareal Leo Villareal ... Self


'Impossible Light' follows Internationally renowned artist, Leo Villareal and his dedicated team as they set out to install 25,000 LED lights on the side of San Francisco's Bay Bridge for an abstract fine art sculpture known as The Bay Lights. How did it happen? Who was behind this eight-million-dollar installation? And how in the world did the artist, his team, and the city of San Francisco pull it off? Jeremy Ambers' illuminating, riveting documentary, 'Impossible Light' sheds light on these questions, while chronicling the drama and child-like daring behind a project whose 'impossibility made it possible.' Written by Steven Kyritz

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Not Rated

User Reviews

25,000 LED Lights and the Dream and Herculean Effort It Took to Turn Them On
6 May 2014 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

Based on blind faith, first-time documentary filmmaker Jeremy Ambers followed the uncertain path from conception to execution of the Bay Lights. At a height of 500 feet and a length of 1.8 miles, it represents the world's largest LED light sculpture installed on the much-maligned western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. He really had no idea if the project would reach a successful conclusion, and that ambivalence is captured in the compelling narrative he follows for just 71 minutes. Ambers wisely focuses on three key figures, the first being Ben Davis, the founder of the Illuminate the Arts program and the guiding light, if you will, of the entire project. It was his dream to have a public art display that would allow some of the spotlight normally reserved for the more photogenic Golden Gate Bridge. This dream evolves into a vision created by the film's second pivotal figure, expressionist artist Leo Villareal, whose renown comes from elaborate lighting displays.

Many of his exhibits are shown here with the most famous being the stunning concourse walkway between the West and East buildings of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. The third figure is Amy Critchett, a no-nonsense creative producer instrumental in the budgeting and fundraising efforts to bring the project to life. While a number of engineers were obviously critical to the effort and are included in brief snippets, it is the combined effort of this charismatic trio who manages to elicit support from a wide-ranging and often hesitant group of stakeholders from government agencies to private anonymous donors . Interspersed between the interviews is some remarkable footage of the installation including setbacks caused by either the elements or the experimental nature of the whole venture. Ambers shows a true gift for editing as the momentum never flags, and the evocative score by Kevin T. Doyle lends a nicely surreal touch to the story. I look forward to Ambers' next feature film.

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Release Date:

8 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bay Lights Project See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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