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Phase IV

USA | 1974 | 92 minutes | Saul Bass

In this visionary piece of '70s cinematic science fiction, the only feature-length film directed by the legendary Oscar®-winning graphic designer Saul Bass, two scientists wage a war against a rapidly evolving ant colony. Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

June 9, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
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Following a mysterious cosmic event, strange structures and mystifying patterns begin to appear in the desert. Scientists James Lesko and Ernest Hubbs lead a research team into the desert to investigate their origins only to be shocked to discover that the local ant colonies have rapidly evolved into a sophisticated hive mind. The scientists soon find themselves at odds not only with the ants but with each other; Lesko proposes they attempt to communicate with the ants, while Hubbs sees no better option than to wipe out the ant's central colony before they have a chance to destroy humanity. As the war escalates, the stakes for both sides increase exponentially, leading to an unforgettable denouement. The only feature-length film to have been directed by the legendary Oscar®-winning graphic designer Saul Bass, Phase IV is now recognized as a visionary piece of '70s cinematic science fiction. This special presentation features a new 35mm print followed by the new digital reconstruction of Bass's original psychedelic ending sequence, long thought lost.

PHASE IV | New 35mm print created for the Academy Film Archive's collection, with thanks to Paramount Pictures.
PHASE IV alternate ending | Digitally reconstituted by the Academy Film Archive, with thanks to Paramount Pictures.
Special thanks to Paramount Pictures and Jennifer Bass for making this program possible.

Director Biography
Saul Bass is a graphic designer and filmmaker who worked with many directors including Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick. He is also known for designing film posters and title sequences, including Vertigo and The Man with the Golden Arm. Phase IV is his first and only feature film.

Sponsored in part by Star 101.5

Director: Saul Bass
Principal Cast: Michael Murphy, Nigel Davenport, Lynne Frederick
Country: USA
Year: 1974
Running Time: 92 minutes
Producer: Paul Radin
Screenplay: Mayo Simon
Cinematographers: Dick Bush
Editors: Willy Kemplen
Music: Brian Gascoigne
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English
Format: 35mm
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