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Ascent

In Fiona Tan’s glorious ode to a Japanese volcano, Mount Fuji is both geological marvel and malleable symbol, its solidity and grandeur inspiring conquest and contemplation. Fuji stands as one of the world’s great backdrops, appearing in countless snapshots from the introduction of photography.

Sophie and the Rising Sun

Director Maggie Greenwald has adapted Augusta Trobaugh’s 2001 historical romance into a decorous feminist drama whose characters share many qualities with the willful nonconformists of her other period films, The Ballad of Little Jo and Songcatcher.