Aeons ago, David Lynch’s Lost Highway was shot on fillum.
Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray of the film, makes that readily apparent with a pleasant sheen of light film grain, and very rare IP dirt. What it looks like is a print derived from the dupe negative, or what people would have seen in theaters in 1997.
With the recent sturm and drang, one might think that what Kino was releasing (they apparently went to Mr. Lynch toward doing a new scan and creating his perfect release, but never heard back) was problematic.
It isn’t in any way.
It’s not perfect, or at least it may not be.
You’ll find the track for the Universal logo is problematic. Could be the original studio master for this film, or possibly something in authoring, but I’d bet it’s been there for a while.
The other oddity is that the main title sequence appears to have been produced regular aperture and scanned at full, as there’s a null area at the left of the screen.
I don’t know the film that well, and these elements may be some sort of odd artistic trick, to make audiences uncomfortable. I’ve not a clue.
Mr. Lynch may have just wanted things this way.
Would a new 4k scan of the original negative have made a huge difference with this film? I can’t say that it would.
What Kino has released is perfectly lovely. Color, densities, black levels, grain structure, all look very much like film. And that works for me.
As a film, it never really made any sense. It seemed like art for the sake of art. I don’t believe it’s gotten any better bottle age.
All of those rabid Lynch fans should be thoroughly delighted.
Image – 4.25
Audio – 5 (aside from logo mx)
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Certainly