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still from Phase IV (Saul Bass, GB/US 1974)

Nature Strikes Back

Koolhoven & Simons: Nature Strikes Back

Martin Koolhoven and Ronald Simons highlight humanity and nature’s conflicts in cinematic history followed by a screening of Phase IV from 1974, legendary designer Saul Bass’ sole directorial outing.

poster Phase IV (Saul Bass, GB/US 1974)

Humanity and nature are seldom a good combination, to put it mildly. Our hubris and misplaced sense of superiority have frequently been punished throughout cinema’s history. How inventive filmmakers always are when depicting nature’s revenge; featuring excerpts from Them!, Empire of the Ants, Godzilla vs The Smog Monster and The Island Of Dr. Moreau. These will be followed by a screening of Phase IV directed by Saul Bass in which super intelligent ants created by cosmic radiation battle humanity.

‘I hope there will be more where this came from,’ wrote a film critic in the Het Parool [Dutch broadsheet] when Saul Bass' ‘intelligently conceived’ science fiction film Phase IV was released. Nevertheless, for Bass – a talented title sequence designer (for Hitchcock and Otto Preminger, among others) – this psychedelic, socially critical monster movie was all he would ever make.

This program was commissioned by InScience - International Science Film Festival Nijmegen, the science film festival in the Netherlands.


Persons under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult


Saul Bass

Production year



183 min.

Event language



Koolhoven & Simons: Nature Strikes Back



Part of

Cinema Ecologica

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is sure: climate change. Cinema Ecologica focuses on how film directors depict the relationship between humanity and the earth: from nail-biting disaster films to artistic meditations, from romantic nature experiences to astounding science fiction.

Learn more
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still from Phase IV (Saul Bass, GB/US 1974)
still from Phase IV (Saul Bass, GB/US 1974)
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