A few words about…™ Lost Highway — in Blu-ray

What Kino has released is perfectly lovely. Color, densities, black levels, grain structure, all look very much like film. And that works for me. 4 Stars

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

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

5 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    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.

    Just on the left, or is it windowboxed on all four sides of the frame? Foreign Blu-ray editions, which were sourced from a master from MK2, had fully windowboxed credits. That MK2 master was fairly mediocre in quality, with flat contrast and a green push that washed out black levels and other colors.

    I am curious if Kino used that same source, or the master from Universal's old DVD edition, which had slightly better contrast and color.

  2. JoshZ

    Just on the left, or is it windowboxed on all four sides of the frame? Foreign Blu-ray editions, which were sourced from a master from MK2, had fully windowboxed credits. That MK2 master was fairly mediocre in quality, with flat contrast and a green push that washed out black levels and other colors.

    I am curious if Kino used that same source, or the master from Universal's old DVD edition, which had slightly better contrast and color.

    Just on the left, although the image may have been adjusted. As to color, the only thing noted was a fade out that went off color as opposed to black.

  3. In their statement, Kino indicated that they wanted him to participate in collaborating on a new 4K scan from the OCN. That's about as good as it gets, unless the OCN is in poor condition and something better is out there.

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