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Alamo Drafthouse and Academy Announce Day-Long Saul Bass Tribute, Featuring 'Phase IV' with Long-Lost Ending

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 28, 2012 at 2:35PM

The Alamo Drafthouse is partnering with the Academy for a day-long Saul Bass tribute on December 1. The program features the legendary title sequence designer's rarely seen short films and a pristine restoration of Bass' sole directorial effort, sci-fi gem "Phase IV."
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"Phase IV"
"Phase IV"

The Alamo Drafthouse is partnering with the Academy for a day-long Saul Bass tribute on December 1. The program features the legendary designer's rarely seen short films and a pristine restoration of Bass' sole directorial effort, sci-fi gem "Phase IV."

The new 35mm print of "Phase IV" to be presented at the Drafthouse will feature the long-lost original end sequence, to be screened alongside it in a high-definition digital transfer. This will be the first-ever screening of the ending, only recently unearthed by Academy archivists.

Bass is best known for the retina-like coil designs in the title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo," as well as the broken-up body part graphics for Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of a Murder," the fire-escape designs for the "West Side Story" artwork, and the fractured, criss-crossing lines of the "Psycho" opening credits, to name only a few. (See videos below.)

More info on the event and ticket sales can be found at the Drafthouse's website (here for the shorts program, and here for "Phase IV").

Full Saul Bass lineup:

Alamo Drafthouse and The Academy Present "Bass on Film: An Afternoon of Saul Bass Shorts"

Saturday, December 1 at 4:20 PM

Featuring the Academy Film Archive's new restoration of Saul Bass' Academy Award®-winning short film, WHY MAN CREATES (1968) and a pristine print of QUEST (1984)!

 A singular opportunity for moviegoers familiar with the many notable title sequences designed by Saul Bass (PSYCHO, WEST SIDE STORY, SOMETHING WILD) to see some of his equally brilliant short films. This afternoon of rarities from the Academy Film Archive's Saul Bass collection will be hosted by May Haduong, the Archive's Public Access Manager, and introduced by Alamo Drafthouse Film Programmer Sam Prime.

Running time: 90 minutes.

 Alamo Drafthouse and The Academy Present "Phase IV (New 35mm Print!) Featuring Long-Lost Ending"

Saturday, December 1 at 9:30 PM

A new print of a sci-fi gem, featuring its long-lost psychedelic ending sequence

PHASE IV (1974) is one of those underappreciated sci-fi gems that is only now being reappraised by modern audiences. This special presentation of a brand new 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive will include a rare screening of the original psychedelic end sequence, long thought to be lost and alternately rumored to have never been made at all. This sequence was recently unearthed by the Archive and may be considered one of most significant cinematic discoveries of the decade. Ellen Harrington, the Academy's Director of Exhibitions and Special Events, will introduce the film and provide the backstory to this remarkable archival find.

Running time: 92 minutes.

This article is related to: News, Alamo Drafthouse, News, Saul Bass


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.