THEATER 1 Sat, Sep 30 7:45 PM
THEATER 1 Sun, Oct 8 6:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:1974
Production Country:United Kingdom
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Saul Bass
Cast:Nigel Davenport
Michael Murphy
Lynne Frederick
Alan Gifford
Robert Henderson
Screenwriter:Mayo Simon


An acclaimed graphic designer who created original logos for United Airlines, Warner Bros., and AT&T and designed the title sequences for THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, and PSYCHO, Bass also served as storyboard artist and visual consultant for Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock, among others. It is no wonder that his solo directorial effort is visually striking, a film the trailer declared “a new kind of film experience.” Inspired by H. G. Wells's 1905 short story "Empire of the Ants" (myrmecophobics, you’ve been warned), PHASE IV is set in an Arizona farm town, where sentient ants have waged war on humans. A man vs. nature oddity, Bass used macro photographic footage of real ants, psychedelic montages, and intense close-ups to tell the surreal story, leading critics to deride the effort as all style, no substance, with the New York Times writing, “PHASE IV cries for a PHASE V of fuller explanations.” Ironically marketed without a Bass designed poster, PHASE IV—presented at the Film Center with the original ending—eventually gained cult status, though it marked the end of Bass’s directorial career.