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Inspirational Viewing – Phase IV

8 June, 2012

Phase IVis a science fiction movie from 1974 and it shows especially in the occasionally heavy-handed soundtrack.  It does present an interesting take on the environmental/natural threat.  However, it makes good use of footage of ants (and occasionally other insects) and implied effects to achieve an impressively disturbing scenario.  But it is slow-paced and

Ant Towers

Ants Made This

occasionally quite talky, if you want an action movie this is not it, and features a fair amount of 70s stock characterization in the main characters.

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More discussion (with spoilers) after the cut:

The main plot issue of the movie is how humankind would cope with ants as a true hivemind network, all of the various species of ants working together for one purpose and that purposes is probably not going to be good for humanity.  It is easy to forget how dangerous even small insects can be in mass and how difficult it it to fight such a dispersed enemy especially if they are directed, this film shows that very effectively.  Equally, it shows the difficulty of defending against a dispersed and tiny enemy that can coordinate its actions against you, so good ideas for insect-controlling druids and supers.

The primary interaction between the ants and the people, while being initially formulated in terms of conflict, can equally be seen as attempts to communicate with and understand the other side.  There is quite a bit here that could be mined for a ‘first contact’ sort of scenario between an alien intelligence and humans.  Insects are definitely aliens among us, acting on a very different scale and set of drives.

So, with the caveats noted above, Phase IV can be quite thought provoking.

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