Phase IV (new 35mm print, 4/28)

Co-presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Seekers of celestial psych cinema need no longer cue up 2001’s “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite” to unlock their third eye; enter the optically luscious, organically abstract and singular universe of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists. Graphic designer/filmmaker Saul Bass’s only feature-length effort is a triumph of visual storytelling that communicates impending sentient insect peril through unparalleled microphotography, sound & art design, abstract architecture and subtle gestures. Using the touchstone of Kubrick’s monolithic freakout as a cinematic challenge, Bass confidently takes up the mantle of smart and strange sci-fi, making Spaceship Earth feel alien and fantastic. Widely underappreciated and guaranteed to be the most stunning theatrical experience you’ll have this year, Bass’ ultra-imaginative journey is a train you’ll immediately want to board. Plus, alongside the Academy Film Archive’s brand-new print, Bass’s original mind-shattering eight-minute finale — trimmed from the 1974 theatrical release, and entirely unseen until discovered in the vaults late last year — will be presented after the screening. This footage is a cornucopia of some of the most truly nuts, experimental optical-printing trickery you’ll ever see. BE THERE.
Dir. Saul Bass, 1974, 84 min. (35mm) + 8 min. (digital presentation)

Watch the trailer for “Phase IV”!