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.
At a summer camp for youths, cocky pre-teen calls out the name of mass serial killer "Madman Marz". Suddenly, counselors are being maimed and slaughtered in various ways by the backwoodsman who has returned when his name was called.
A widowed field mouse must move her family -- including an ailing son -- to escape a farmer's plow. Aided by a crow and a pack of superintelligent, escaped lab rats, the brave mother struggles to transplant her home to firmer ground.
Man remembers 48 crucial hours in his life when, as a teenager, he visited his mother, the favorite woman of an important politician, in a bordello owned by her, right before some important political changes in Brazil, in 1937.