The French branch of Warner Home Video has announced that, on May 18, it will re-release Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange in a 40-Anniversary, 2-Disk Digibook Blu-ray edition. Just a few days earlier, the film be projected digitally at the Cannes Film Festival. There is no information about a US release at the moment.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the start of the long-standing relationship between Warner Bros and Kubrick, seven of his movies will be digitally projected in theaters across France starting June 1: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining (in its US version, never released before in French cinemas), Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut.
Additionally, the French Cinémathèque will host an exhibition on Stanley Kubrick, with an area of over 10,000 square feet and displaying screenplays, correspondence, research documents, on-set photographs, costumes and props, as well as in-depth documentation on Kubrick's unfinished projects, such as his Napoleon.
A Spanish site has posted the first image of the upcoming 40th Anniversary edition. Confirming the reports from HD Numérique, it will indeed be a two-disc Digibook edition. Disc 2 is also a Blu-ray and visibly includes two documentaries: Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (previously available only on DVD) and O Lucky Malcolm (already available on the first edition of A Clockwork Orange).
The fact that a documentary is being shifted to another disc indicates that in this case WHV won't simply reuse the existing first-edition disc and slap a second bonus disc to create a special edition, like it did recently with GoodFellas: 20th Anniversary Edition (see Blu-ray.com, February 1, 2010).
HD Numérique has removed any mention of a new digital restoration being used for the Cannes screening. Therefore, the transfer projected will be probably the same already used for the 2007 Blu-ray.
I didn't think the video for the original blu-ray was bad, but it was not nearly as good as it could have been. As one of my all-time favorite movies, I REALLY hope it makes it to this release. I also can't wait to see what features make it to disc 2. Now I only hope it makes it to America...
Also, what would this mean for the rumored Kubrick set?
This is my favourite picture. It was the first blu-ray I bought of which I actually owned the DVD. I hate to double-dip, but if, by some miracle, there's a new transfer and/or a substantial amount of new content, I might just have to buy it a third time!
A Clockwork Orange was shot on a budget, after the Napoleon project collapsed. Warner took the subject and the probable X rating but Kubrick had to work with a smaller crew and a tighter deadline than he tended to do. I'm not sure the transfer can be much improved.
Warner France will actually release on the same day Barry Lyndon and Lolita (an official US announcement for all three titles isn't far behind). I know there were rumors about Douglas Trumbull shooting a documentary about 2001 and the missing footage from the premiere but the Kubrick estate and Warner were quick to announce these deleted scenes would remain so (it was Kubrick's will) and the documentary was quickly canceled as Trumbull had no rights on the material (but he still can make a book of it).
So, I guess there will only be three titles. Which is fine to me, because the more focus on Barry Lyndon, the better.
About Lynch, it's less about appreciation than production. Eraserhead wasn't released in France until Elephant Man (and it was named "Labyrinth Man" in the original release!). It took long years for him to receive proper consideration from the French critics.
In 1990, construction and media magnate Francis Bouygues decided to found his own production company, Ciby 2000 (with "2000" pronounced "Deux mille" in French, a pun on Cecil B DeMille). He wanted to produce Kubrick, Lynch, Wenders, Almodovar and many other big names for art movies. Ciby 2000 got most of them and made some quite good films and harvested a few Palmes d'or (The Piano, Underground, Taste of Cherry) but the folly was naturally a financial gulf because it was mostly subsidies for art movies (another producer made the very same mistake in the 70s when he wanted to produce Fellini, Bergman, Antonioni and Tarkovsky while disregarding potential popular hits). When Bouygues died, the company more or less folded.
But Ciby 2000 still had a three picture deal with Lynch, started by Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. They had to honor at least one other movie, which was Lost Highway. Coincidentally the "Francis Bouygues presents" credit on this movie appears close to a TV set being shot. Bouygues owned French most popular TV network.
The rights to the Ciby 2000 Lynch catalog were sold to the equivalent of a French indie studio, MK2. Negotiations for the third movie in the Lynch-Bouygues contract brought Lynch to another French company, Studio Canal, the Canal+ movie production company (Canal+ is our local equivalent of HBO and a big money earner that was at the source of Vivendi Universal. By law, every TV channel has to inject some of its activity into movie production). That's why France produced A Straight Story then was at the source for the completion of Mulholland Dr.
One of my favorite movies of all-time. And the original Blu-ray did not look very good. So I'll gladly double-dip if this has a new and improved transfer. While you're at it, WB, do something about Eyes Wide Shut. That movie's only 12 years old, yet it looked mediocre at best.
Not bothered about this one but Id buy a new transfer of Eyes Wide Shut in an instant - the current one just looks awful and is easily the worst blu-ray transfer Ive seen (apart from Inland Empire but that was filmed in SD so doesnt count)
Oh my God I hope all of those get new releases in special editions. I'd rebuy all the ones I already have: though 2001 is already an amazing BD. Clockword and Lolita are my personal favs in the list and I'd love to get that 2-disc edition and get a Lolita release. Does anyone know if warner region locks their european BDs?
Awesome news: would love to catch this in theaters
Thanks for this info. If they don't region lock I will import this, but if it will be out eventually in a boxset I will just wait: I guess we will have to wait for details now.
I actually like LPCM audio over DTS MA. I feel LPCM audio sounds more open, but maybe it's just me. Though I can't be certain, but I think DTS MA takes up slightly less space.
A Kubrick boxset would be amazing. Agree with whoever said Eyes Wide Shut needs major restoring: I actually like that movie a lot. Though I wouldn't give up my Paths of Glory Criterion BD for anything.
Yes , a must have as I've got it on HD-DVD. Whilst on the subject of Kubrick, with a new '2001' why not offer a 'Smilebox' option version, after all it was a 'cinerama' 70mm movie. On the 'Cinerama Adventure' doco (on the 'How the West was Won' digi book) is a short sequence in 'Smilebox' and its AWSOME. 'Lolita' and 'Barry Lyndon' are must haves as well.
The same pattern, over and over and over again: new editions of titles previously released in perfectly acceptable editions while refusing to release titles (such as Barry Lyndon) that are in demand and begging for the BRD treatment. Perhaps we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Looking forward to this, hoping the transfer can be improved, but I will be careful before making a decision to double dip. I also remain optimistic that we'll have a Region A release of Barry Lyndon later this year - it would be a tremendous addition to any Kubrick fan's collection.
Has Warner Brothers ever revisited a film on blu-ray and rescanned the transfer?They seem to recycle the same master for reissues. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. Its disappointing. I hope they worked on restoring Clockwork.
madpanner, "2001 A Space Odyssey" was never originally filmed in the Cinerama format (3 separate cameras, 35 mm), but in 65 mm (70mm print for addition of soundtrack). Any Cinerama theatrical exhibitions were conversions of the original into 3 separate 35 mm prints for 3-projector display. There would be no benefit to a "smilebox" presentation, unless you had a Cinerama-type curved screen to project it on.
oh, and after just checking the package/booklet from that Spanish site, I'm a little disappointed they didn't use one of the great, graphic illustrations of the original movie posters and such...that would've been great!