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Saul Bass, 1974
USA | Format: 35mm + DCP (Ending) | 93 minutes
Midnight Movie! New York Premiere of Reconstituted Ending!
Acclaimed graphic designer Saul Bass’s only feature film is a visually striking curiosity that, originally a box office flop, garnered cult status a year after its release. Hyper-intelligent ants take over an Arizona farm town, causing the government to evacuate the zone and send in scientists to figure out what is going on. Protected by a dome-like structure, they soon fall victim to the tiny terrifying creatures. Interpreted by some as an ecological commentary, by others as political, and by others as a runoff of the anxieties of the time, Phase IV is as spellbinding as the movie posters and title sequences for which its director is known. Featuring an otherworldly score by composer Brian Gascoigne and starring Michael Murphy and Nigel Davenport as the scientists. This version of the film includes a newly discovered ending that was long believed lost. Print and DCP courtesy of the Academy Film Archive, with thanks to Paramount Pictures.
Ambling Alp. Radical Friend, USA, 2009; 4m
The Brooklyn-based band Yeasayer pays homage to Saul Bass’s Phase IV in this psychedelic music video inspired by the film.
Looking at Saul Bass
The New York Jewish Film Festival pays homage to the well-known graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Saul Bass (1920–1996), who designed title sequences and film posters for directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, and Martin Scorsese during his prolific 40-year career.