“There’s lots to like about this experimental film”

by Ed Blackadder

Officail Synopsis: An amnesiac alien philosopher stranded on Earth takes a long journey to Mt. Fuji to resurrect his little comatose friend and, as he progresses, starts to remember a pivotal day from his childhood, which involves a mysterious spacecraft that has just, in Earth Time, gone missing.

Review: The story behind the making of Journey to Mt. Fuji, from French filmmaker Cris Ubermann and penned by Yukita Kusunoki, is an interesting one, and is worth researching before watching. Ubermann quotes Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky as his influence for the style we see in Journey to Mt. Fuji, which tells the story of Mozzman (played by Yukita Kusunoki), an alien that’s stranded on Earth. While on a mission to Mt. Fuji, Mozzman gets to help various people during his travels, and in turn they also aid the alien.

Shot in France, California, and Japan, Journey to Mt. Fuji shows Mozzman learning about human nature and how he, a being from another world, can help earthlings. It also shows our hero alien warming to the idea of assisting humans, which he does every chance he gets.

Cris Ubermann demonstrates a strong sense of style, which is aided by a good score, written and performed by Kumi Nakagawa. The performances all feel quite natural, which one assumes is exactly what Ubermann was going for. At a running-time of 80-minutes, Journey to Mt. Fuji felt too long and would have served better as a 10-minute short.

There’s lots to like about this experimental film, and is well worth seeking out.