Previously at the ICA - Films

Phase IV, Dir. Saul Bass, 1974

Phase IV

22 Oct 201127 Oct 2011

An unexplained cosmic event sees a mysterious threatening evolution take place with the ants of a remote US desert. Hitchcock, Preminger, Kubrick and Scorsese all went to the legendary Saul Bass when they wanted that special graphic opening title sequence to set their work apart. Phase IV is Bass’ single foray into directing feature films. It’s an amazing looking oddity from 1974. At times haunting and even beautiful, it concerns a pair of US scientists who are observing strange behavioural patterns in ant colonies deep in the desert. The ants develop exponentially creating a form of collective consciousness which soon comes to the conclusion that we pesky humans need taking down a peg or two. Using amazing footage of real ants Bass fashioned a deeply creepy and visually striking critique of man’s arrogance in the face of nature. Oh – and it’s terrific fun too!

Dir. Saul Bass, USA 1974, 93 mins, cert U,
Cast. Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy and Lynne Frederick

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