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The simple actions of a young boy on the beach provide visual metaphors for the normally unseen world. The camera adds a profound dimension to what the boy has seen, giving us a deeper understanding of visual awareness.
Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas. Written by
Saul Bass has said in interviews that the studio tampered with film in post against his wishes. See more »
The ant-queens seen are actually a species of wasps. This choice has been most probably made as to not seriously disturb several ant-states. However, ant-queens shed their wings when going into pregnancy and developing the huge white abdomen. It needs to be remarked that the choice for not ripping out the wasps' wings speaks in favor for the film makers. See more »
James R. Lesko:
We knew then, that we were being changed... and made part of their world. We didn't know for what purpose... but we knew, we would be told.
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The title is not revealed until the end credits. It is divided into segments "Phase I," Phase II," and "Phase III," and only at the very end when Phase IV is reached is the title ever given. See more »
This is one of the greatest movies ever made. Saul Bass has created, out of the blue, one of the most terrifying fictions ever conceived. Bass' genius is usually confined to the miniature. What better way to explore this than extensive ant photography. I could not believe the character injected into what, in the hands of some hack director, might be just nature shots.
The film begins media res and there is a sense that the world is off kilter somehow. The voice over that caps the movie is some of the most literate, enigmatic film monologue i have experienced. See this as a parent of PI and you'll be on the right track.
the sun bleached photography and the atmosphere of menace conspire to such a degree that the movie has the feeling of a Beach Boys nightmare.
I will not spoil the ending. It is enough to say that there may very well never be anything like it again. Bass directed a short called Quest, produced by Robert Redford (probably shot in Utah!), which has the same vibe. It is like the invasion of some other reality, into our own.
10/10. This movie made me want to explode.
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