ASCENT

By Fiona TAN

ANTITHESIS FILM - as PROD

Drama - Completed 2016

Climbing Mount Fuji from afar – a photographic journey; a cinematic adventure.

Festivals
& Awards

BFI London FF 2016
Special Presentations
Locarno 2016
    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • NETHERLANDS, JAPAN
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, JAPANESE
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 80 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Fiona TAN
    • Writer(s)
    • Fiona TAN
    • EIDR 10.5240/9092-6157-665A-50B6-6B26-U
    • Producer(s)
    • Fiona TAN (ANTITHESIS FILM)
    • Synopsis
    • Through a grey blanket of cloud the contours of a mountain can be barely discerned. This is Mount Fuji, a volcano with many faces and of immeasurable cultural and symbolic significance. We are lead through the film by the voices of two fictitious characters – Mary, an English woman and her deceased Japanese partner, Hiroshi. Mary receives a parcel containing letters and a collection of photographs from Hiroshi. His letters, in which he describes climbing Fuji, trigger in her a train of reflections and emotions. The photographs we discover together with Mary.

      4,500 exceptional and diverse photographs from the past 150 years form the basis for this film. Many images are of breathtaking beauty – ranging from early examples of nineteenth century Japanese studio photography to military propaganda photos from the thirties. These thousands of images enshroud the mountain like a cloud, revealing and hiding it at the same time.

      Ascent is in essence a film made entirely with stills; a filmic experiment balancing delicately between documentary and fiction. Together with the two protagonists the viewer climbs Mount Fuji across geographical, temporal and cultural divides. But central throughout is my own questioning about the nature of photography and cinematic creation.
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