The Criterion Collection is both a blessing and a curse for movie geeks. Without Criterion to offer us gorgeously restored versions of hard-to-find classics and “films of importance”, so many essential pieces of world cinema would be that much harder to get your hands on. But on the other hand…..jeez, they’re expensive. Ask your film buff friend why they’re subsisting on a diet of toast and water thing month, and odds are that the new Criterion Blu-Ray of I Knew her Well is to blame. But Criterion’s unbreakable stranglehold on the wallets of physical media adherents remains firm, and you’re probably looking at their slate of upcoming films with as much dread as anticipation.
Among their upcoming releases is a brand new 4K restoration of Terrence Malick’s 2005 historical drama The New World. Rather than the theatrical cut, this release will feature Malick’s preferred 172-minute version of the film, freshly restored from the original camera negatives. When the new version will hit store shelves has yet to be revealed, but you can get a preview of what’s coming with these comparison shots showcasing the work Criterion’s been doing. As you can see, the folks at Criterion appear to be doing a bangup job on the restoration, and you’d never guess from the restored shots that it’s a decade old now.
The videos come hot on the heels of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s Oscar win for Best Cinematography for his work on The Revenant. Lubezki was also nominated for The New World, but lost out to Dion Beebe’s work on Memoirs of a Geisha. The videos, and news of the project overall, also coincide nicely with the release of Malick’s latest film, Knight of Cups.
You can check out the comparison shots for The New World below. Will you be picking up the Blu-Ray when it hits the Criterion store?