Private Project

: ascension :

Max and Brian travel through rural Michigan to attend a friend's funeral and, along the way, must grapple with the omnipresent reality of both physical and emotional loss.

  • Julian Bridges
  • Julian Bridges
  • Julian Bridges
  • Ryan Rosenheim
    Key Cast
    Devon Bright & The Sensitive Boys
  • Peter Klein
    Key Cast
  • Annamarie Kasper
    Key Cast
    Yeah Kowalski!
  • David Newton
  • Keaton Henson
  • Julian Bridges
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 21, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Julian Bridges

Julian Bridges is a musician, writer and filmmaker currently living in New York City.

In May of 2016, Bridges graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Michigan, where he received degrees in Jazz Studies and Classical Percussion Performance. While at Michigan, he was named a James B. Angell Scholar, was granted the Britton Scholarship and the Arnold Scholarship, and received the Presser Foundation's Undergraduate Scholar Award. Bridges also studied Jazz Performance at the National Conservatory of Paris, was awarded an Immanuel and Helen Olshan Orchestral Fellowship to the Texas Music Festival, and has performed at venues and festivals across the world including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Detroit International Jazz Festival, South Korea's Zandari Music Festa, and Lincoln Center. "ascension" is his first film.

In August of 2017, Bridges will begin working towards his MFA in Film & TV Production at the University of Southern California.

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Director Statement

: ascension :

"ascension" is a film about loss, both in a physical and an emotional sense. Death is the external loss at the heart of the story – Brian and Max drive across the state of Michigan to attend their friend Liza’s funeral, bringing along tokens of sympathy for her parents.

However, this external loss is only one half of the equation, a reflection of the internal loss that Brian unearths in the process of coming to grips with Liza’s death. As he bickers with Max along the trip, an understanding of finality dawns on him. Knowledge is bi-directional at its core: the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know. That very sense of “not-knowing” then spurs us forth, beckoning another wave of knowledge and realized ignorance, and so on, and so on, and so on… Conversely, experience moves only forward. Missed experiences and opportunities are simply missed. Time is passing.

This is the true loss that Max must grapple with.

The decisions that we make define who we are. As I begin to enter adulthood, this has become more and more apparent, particularly in a generation that has thrown open the doors of possibility. The young adult of the 21st Century is advised to be whomever and whatever they dream to be. Such a breadth of possibility can be a frightening prospect, though; unsure of which path was the correct one to pursue in the wake of college, I was finding it easy to get lost in daydreams, sketching blueprints for the various people that I wanted to be. This daydreaming was becoming a diversion from the real action of life, and the blueprint in mind is often – at best – a very loose representation of reality.

"ascension" is then, among other things, an elegy for the people that I am not: the blueprints that I discarded along the way and, mostly, the blueprints that I wish I hadn’t discarded at all.