Ascent (2016)

Film details

  • Director

    Fiona Tan

  • Year

    2016

  • Type

    Film

  • Category

    Non Fiction

Synopsis

The beautiful and mysterious Mount Fuji is the site for an adventure of the imagination for a western female artist and her soulful male Japanese correspondent. We go on a metaphorical journey with them up the mountain, crossing geographical, temporal and cultural divides. Employing a collection of dazzlingly varied still images spanning the history of photography, the mountain becomes a breathtaking cultural monolith, inspiring the artist to uncover different paths and to muse on the significance of its dominant presence in Japanese history, religion and philosophy. By combining fiction and documentary, the film is able to explore the intersections between Japanese and Western art and popular culture, from Van Gogh's passion to the perspectival simplicity of Japanese designs to Hokusai's woodblock print of 'The Wave' that adorns tea towels and drinks coasters around the world. There is even the saviour-monster, Godzilla, who battles with the US imperialist equivalent, King Kong. Evoking both the insight and lyricism of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil and emotional complexity of Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour, Fiona Tan's wonderful film captures the paradox of existing in time and space without movement. Profound stillness.

Cast & Credits

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