Hollywood rag IndieWire reported over the weekend that David Lynch had dropped something of a bombshell on his Twitter account concerning the release this coming week of his film Lost Highway on Blu-ray.
Lynch wrote the following: “Dear Twitter Friends. A Blu-ray of LOST HIGHWAY will be released very soon. It was made from old elements and NOT from a restoration of the original negative. I hope that a version from the restoration of the original negative will happen as soon as possible.”
According to IndieWire, and correctly observed, Lost Highway has never received a Blu-ray release in the U.S., with Region B versions the only ones available up until this time. Lynch is known to be a stickler for ensuring that picture and audio deliver the highest standards for disc release, and some of his formerly-helmed titles on DVD did not even offer chapter breaks to preserve the whole experience at home. The reason for Lynch’s loss of control of the title appears to be unknown, but IndieWire surmises that it might be related to October Films closing doors after acquisition by Universal, and says it is pressing for more information.
The new US release Kino Lorber will be available from tomorrow (June 25th). There appears to be little information about the bonus materials on the disc so far, and it’s perhaps surprising that Criterion has not overseen the release this time, with its legacy of distributing Lynch titles, including Eraserhead (1977) and Mulholland Drive (2001).
Some of you may wish to check out the comments below Lynch’s announcement on his Twitter feed here.
- Apr 4, 2005
- Real Name
- Joel Henderson
- Jul 17, 2009
- Real Name
- Nick Dobbs
I believe it was announced for laserdisc release but never released. It was assigned spine #201, so that may account for some confusion. Plus it was recently streaming on the Criterion Channel.I like that they mentioned in the article that Criterion has released Lynch Films including THE ELEPHANT MAN. (They haven’t.) But is it forthcoming?
Hopefully it’s coming to blu from them.
Yes, you're right, battlebeast - my bad. It's available from Studio Canal in some European territories, but not in the US and with no release date set. I'll change that.I like that they mentioned in the article that Criterion has released Lynch Films including THE ELEPHANT MAN. (They haven’t.) But is it forthcoming?
For a minute I got excited... :/ It would be nice to see Elephant Man from Criterion, but it's a paramount title... :/Yes, you're right, battlebeast - my bad. It's available from Studio Canal in some European territories, but not in the US and with no release date set. I'll change that.
I just saw this master recently through an iTunes stream and it's fine. I'm looking forward to the disc version for the lossless audio; I found the audio on the streaming version wasn't able to handle the film's dynamic range very well (sometime I've had an issue with in virtually all streaming versions of Lynch projects that I've seen), so hopefully the disc is an improvement on that front.
And this will automatically be a tremendous upgrade for anyone who has the UK Blu-ray, which is merely a PAL master upconverted to HD with the 4% speedup included.
From the "critical discussion thread' of Kino Lorber. FYI.Lost Highway
We reached out to Mr. Lynch via email to oversee and color grade a new 4K transfer (from the original camera negative) and get his approval on the dozen or so extras we had planned to include. Once we knew he was not interested in working with us, we had no choice, but to go ahead with the current Universal master and the few extras we had already produced and acquired. To our surprise, the master in question was a very good one, so we were happy to release it with some extras. We found out later that the extras and packaging also had to be approved by him (not the norm) and we sent email after email without one response. We delayed the release by a month, hoping we could at least get him to approve the trailer, the essay and our packaging, at this point we knew the interview and commentary were not possible, but after a few more weeks, we dropped the essay, the trailer and changed our front art to the previously approved DVD art. The BD only includes the film on a dual-layered BD50 disc, maxing out the feature at 30mbps with 5.1 surround and 2.0 lossless audio. We were planning to take the high road and not play the blame game, but after his tweet this weekend, we felt like we had to respond.
We’re still huge David Lynch fans and are proud to release one of his masterpieces on Blu-ray.
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- Sep 30, 2001
As a longtime fan, I’ve noticed that Mr. Lynch at times can have a tendency to allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
He’s an artist and it’s his craft and I understand that.
Criterion in theory could have licensed Lost Highway anytime over the last twenty years. Either they didn’t have interest, Universal wouldn’t let it out, or the asking price was too high.
If Lynch is upset that Kino got the rights, that’s an issue for Universal, not Kino.
And what I think Lynch is missing here is that if people choose not to buy this disc, that won’t cause the studio to say, “We should have licensed it to someone else or remastered it first.” It will cause the studio to say, “This justifies our lack of investment in the title because these sales numbers demonstrate the demand isn’t there.”
From what I understand about other licensing deals, the term for this could be anywhere from a couple years to five or more. Does anyone really believe physical media is in such a condition where the market would be there for a second physical release five years from now?
The reality probably is that this will be the last chance to own this title on disc.
And I’d rather have it than not.
- Nov 14, 2007
- Real Name
I don't recall Lynch making a stink about either Blu-Ray release of Wild at Heart, which both were sourced from the same old master. Granted that was an old master he personally supervised back in the DVD days, but still.