Ancient of Days is a remarkable series of "canons and fugues for video" that comprises Viola's most sophisticated structural and metaphorical explorations of time. Mathematical notations of precise time-code editing were applied to construct illustrations of temporal symmetry, duality and transposition — time-based equivalents of musical compositional principles such as counterpoint and serialism. Astonishing temporal interventions — a 180-degree pan gazing downward on a New York City street that progresses from day to night, an image of Mount Rainier in which the foreground and background unfold in different time planes — unfold as symbolic transformations of natural and urban landscapes.
Dr. Daniel Challis and Ellie Grimbridge stumble onto a gruesome murder scheme when Ellie's novelty-salesman father, Harry, is killed while in possession of a strange mask made by the Silver Shamrock mask company.
Craig T. Nelson stars as Steve Freeling, the main protagonist, who lives with his wife, Diane, and their three children, Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, in Southern California where he sells houses for the company that built the neighborhood.