From Hitchcock’s long-time poster- and titles-designer comes an insectoid response to the Master’s own famous avian thriller.
If The Birds proposed global annihilation by an irrational swarm, Phase IV imagines our apocalypse via an ultra-rational force of hyper-intelligent ants. One computer-logician races to crack the hive’s language in time to avert mankind’s doom, but he’s deterred by an increasingly mad scientist and a beautiful naif during the unpredictable course of this underrated Sci-Fi thriller in which each image is more graphically striking than the last. What else would you expect from one of the most renowned visual geniuses of the century? A calculated use of color and a groovy electronic score round out a cinematic package surreal enough to live up to its Dali-inspired promotional imagery (of a single drone burrowing forth from a pained, clutching hand). If Bass’ heavy reliance on unsettling Macro photography of the colony doesn’t leave your skin crawling for weeks afterwards, the hive-mind has probably already subsumed your brain!
Director: Saul Bass. 93 min. 1974. 35mm.
Part of the series Bastards of Hitch.
Co-presented with MUBI.
Ticket Price: $12, member price: $8.
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