During Viola's time in Japan he created Ancient of Days (1979-81). This film begins with the sound of cars and an image of fire. You view the fire and when it is extinguished a man nails something to the table which wa...展开s in the fire. This section seems to be displayed backwards from the original firing. After the nailing a cup, clock and teapot appear. The shot then switches to a monument. Now the sounds of wind entertain your ears. Much time is spent viewing the monument. As in The Reflecting Pool, the shot is at the same viewpoint the whole time. You are left viewing different skies, background of pastel purple, pink and blue. White clouds increase as the film advances. As it progresses you see different groups of figures walking around to the monument in the distance. Then the shot goes to night and you are left with the view of a city and cars driving. Defiantly a unique angle atop of a building and moving till you are viewing it upside down. There is a great contrast of light sky and dark buildings. Then you are taken out of the city back to the country with a snow covered mountain and a kid squatting playing in a bush. There is a sound of something and the kid runs away. The color changes over the whole screen. That view of the mountain is now placed on the side of a building on a television in the city. The image changes to windsurfing. The shot moves into the crowd with the sound of someone singing. This all slows down, then stops and goes to a room inside with the view of a clock ticking, a picture on the wall and flowers. You hear people talking, someone sneezes and then the picture disappear and the shot fades.
There is an interesting bond between the beginning and then end of this film. The beginning shot has a clock which appears again in the ending. This seems to have a huge correlation with the title being Ancient of Days. Viola connects both the physical and mental landscapes allowing you to spark feeling you may not always be connected to. There is a feeling of losing the simpler things the way he goes from the lush landscapes to the obscure angle of the fast paced city. Also the way this film ending in a house where the frame goes black really brings the point back home.