Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

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Finch
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#101 Post by Finch » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:20 pm

Again, we have only KL's word for it that their emails went unanswered. I'd feel a lot more comfortable about accepting this at face value if they hadn't been so ungracious in responding to even polite queries about the Bitter Moon technical issues and earlier PR hiccups. This makes me wish Lynch's team would issue another statement with a timeline of when/if they were approached by KL and what the emails/queries were relating to.

When did Lynch's team first hear from Kino about their Lost Highway plans and what was communicated to Lynch's side at that point in time?

Did KL ever actually offer a 4k restoration of the film, and if so, when was that offer put forward?

When did KL reach out to Lynch's side to get approval for the extras?

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#102 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:26 pm

Drucker wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:16 pm
https://twitter.com/lingounbound/status ... 37184?s=21

Just saw this. If real, Peter Deming’s attempts to be involved went ignored.
If Kino is publicly blaming this on Lynch's lack of responsiveness and it turns out they're guilty of the same thing, that's even worse! Bonkers.

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Finch
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#103 Post by Finch » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:32 pm

My first reaction to that Deming comment was, duh, if a 4k restoration requires Lynch's approval, then why would Kino reach out to Peter Deming? But Peter seems to be implying that they were never serious about a proper restoration.

I think there is no doubt if there had been a 4k restoration already in place or just completed at the time KL purchased Lost Highway, they absolutely would have used it. Whether they'd have been willing to pay for one to be done yet, is another question. Do we know of any instances where KL actually financed a resto themselves?

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soundchaser
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#104 Post by soundchaser » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:34 pm

I think they did the recent Hannibal 4K restoration, although there’s some confusion as to their wording.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#105 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:43 pm

Drucker wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:16 pm
https://twitter.com/lingounbound/status ... 37184?s=21

Just saw this. If real, Peter Deming’s attempts to be involved went ignored.
The Insider just responded to this
Yes, he did write us while we were discussing this with Mr. Lynch. The Dupe-negative was in the U.S. and the original camera negative was in France. We were willing to do whatever it took.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#106 Post by peerpee » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:48 pm

My favourite part of Kino’s amateurish response was when they admitted to not seeing the Universal master until after licensing the film.

Universal probably own this film for only another three years. Their first involvement with it seems to be 2002. They didn’t make the film and they don’t own the negative. The negative would have to be accessed separately.

Kino are a sub-licensee. There’s a reason Universal haven’t released this on Blu in the US. Lynch may be having beef with Universal and waiting for rights to revert.

Films typically don’t get a red carpet 4K resto at this stage of the licensing cycle, and Criterion probably aren’t in this equation for that reason.

Why would Lynch crack open the neg and let Universal and Kino exploit it in the last 2-3 years of a twenty year licensing period? When another looms so close?

This is all Universal’s fault, they should have done a new 4K five years ago. Kino licensed a pig in a poke and their haste in getting it out has been their downfall.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#107 Post by captveg » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:53 pm

Finch wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:32 pm
Do we know of any instances where KL actually financed a resto themselves?
I know they have mentioned financing new 4K masters on a few titles (perhaps a dozen or a bit more), but I don't recall the specific titles off the top of my head. I know they financed the new scan of The Big Country to not have the same squeeze issues of the MGM release, but I don't recall what technical specifics of the scan were.
Last edited by captveg on Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#108 Post by captveg » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:57 pm

peerpee wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:48 pm
My favourite part of Kino’s amateurish response was when they admitted to not seeing the Universal master until after licensing the film.
I think it's been pretty standard for Universal / StudioCanal / Disney / MGM / Fox / Paramount to provide potential 3rd parties with a list of available titles. Kino would then choose the 100-ish they would be willing to license. They have on a few occasions dropped a title because elements turned out to be too poor, which usually results in them trading it for another. (In the Disney Touchstone/Hollywood Pictures deal they had to take the whole package of films; KL Insider has said on a few occasions that they've released titles from that deal that they likely wouldn't have if not for the stipulation of all-or-nothing).
Last edited by captveg on Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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domino harvey
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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#109 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:58 pm

The KL Insider has clarified some of the communication details: they talked about the release to David Lynch's rep by phone last year, and then talked to the rep again this year after they didn't hear back directly from their emails to Lynch

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#110 Post by tenia » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:07 pm

I'm also quite sure prepping up extras first and then asking Lynch's approval after the fact most certainly placed him in a good mood regarding this whole thing.
Another thing : considering Lost Highway's production and right holdings, I'm surprised KL treated it by remembering how it went... with Wild at Heart... for their DVD release.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#111 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:08 pm

peerpee wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:48 pm
My favourite part of Kino’s amateurish response was when they admitted to not seeing the Universal master until after licensing the film.

Universal probably own this film for only another three years. Their first involvement with it seems to be 2002. They didn’t make the film and they don’t own the negative. The negative would have to be accessed separately.

Kino are a sub-licensee. There’s a reason Universal haven’t released this on Blu in the US. Lynch may be having beef with Universal and waiting for rights to revert.

Films typically don’t get a red carpet 4K resto at this stage of the licensing cycle, and Criterion probably aren’t in this equation for that reason.

Why would Lynch crack open the neg and let Universal and Kino exploit it in the last 2-3 years of a twenty year licensing period? When another looms so close?

This is all Universal’s fault, they should have done a new 4K five years ago. Kino licensed a pig in a poke and their haste in getting it out has been their downfall.
This was all quite informative, thanks.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#112 Post by peerpee » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:12 pm

captveg wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:57 pm
peerpee wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:48 pm
My favourite part of Kino’s amateurish response was when they admitted to not seeing the Universal master until after licensing the film.
I think it's been pretty standard for Universal / StudioCanal / Disney / MGM / Fox / Paramount to provide potential 3rd parties with a list of available titles. Kino would then choose the 100-ish they would be willing to license.
Oh, I know, I’ve been doing it for 15 years, but it’s a schoolboy error not to look at what you’re buying, or to do the most elementary research, which Kino simply didn’t do. Any label that licenses a film without technically analysing the master beforehand is only going to have nasty surprises.

You’re even able to reject the master, and as you’ve pointed out, Kino have been happy to let titles go in the past for various reasons. All labels do it. They should have done that here instead of this uppity “we therefore had no choice but to” rubbish. Instead, they decided to push ahead and cash in for what they can. They’ve come off worst.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#113 Post by Robespierre » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:27 pm

Lynch should know that not every label is Criterion. As someone explained earlier, Kino's business model is to crank out releases as fast as possible. Do I wish they were more quality over quantity? Of course. But to expect them to change their entire business model for one movie and to acquiesce to your OCD demands is a little ridiculous. Should Kino have known that Lynch needs to go over all the special features for approval before signing off on something? It's their business so of course they should have. But why does a 70-year-old need to behave so absurdly when the owners of a film (ie. not him) license it out to a label? Lynch thinks his only recourse available is to give up on the whole process just because he doesn't get his way?

Universal licensed it out so it was going to come out in one form or another, he could have made the best out of it and said, "Yeah, I've been in the industry for 40 years and realize that financial concerns are the most important in this business. Kino got the license, and they're not Criterion or Arrow or whoever and are going to try to get it out as fast as possible. But I really care about seeing that this movie gets at least somewhat of a decent release so I'll approve a new 4K scan and that's it. No you can't have any special features". Instead he's incensed at the very idea that a company want to make money after buying a license. Kino should be aware of who they're dealing with and are at fault for trying to run too many red lights but I think Lynch needs to take the very nature of business into consideration. Now the consumer is stuck with a product that will at best be serviceable when it could have been better.

Not trying to defend Kino at all here, I just want a good product, and I don't expect it to be exceptional since it is Kino. If Lynch also wants to see his film presented in the best possible way, wouldn't he be interested in overseeing a new scan? He doesn't need to be friends with the people at Kino to give his approval. Instead he cares about and focuses on how many special features will or won't be on a disc. Instead we're getting a dated, passable master that likely doesn't reflect his intentions anyway. Everyone loses but Kino will still make money from sales. This isn't a case where a big evil studio is wrestling control of a movie away from its director, cutting it up and re-editing it to their liking. Clearly there was a breakdown of communication somewhere down the line and it sounds like Lynch just has beef with anyone who doesn't do things his way.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#114 Post by bfaison » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:01 pm

If Kino had Peter Deming emailing them and they were willing to do “whatever it took” then none of it shakes out on their end. The respectable thing to do would have been to keep trying w Lynch (have they heard of Sabrina Sutherland?) or scrap the release so that someone else could. This could have been a game changer for their brand if they did it right, but now the fact they’re releasing it at all (with chapter stops, mind you) makes them look more second rate than ever. A minimal amount of research into Lynch’s home video releases would have helped them dodge that tweet. They deserved it imo, and they will sell a boatload of these regardless which is why they don't care

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#115 Post by Finch » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:01 pm

Can we stop assuming Lynch vetoed this release "because it was not Criterion". No one has any evidence to back this up. What we can reasonably deduce is that Lynch is angry at Kino proceeding with commissioning extras that he disapproves of in principle. What isn't clear whether KL offered a 4k restoration in the first place: Kino say they have but the timing of their statement regarding this is highly suspect (as far as I can tell, they only mentioned this publicly AFTER Lynch's weekend tweet and it makes no sense commercially not to confirm a 4k transfer when you announce the release to the press, especially when said film has had a history of unsatisfactory releases in the rest of the world) and Lynch's reps haven't (yet) confirmed if Kino offered to pay for a new 4k restoration. As long as that confirmation from Lynch's side isn't forthcoming, I'm not prepared to accept KL's word regarding this as gospel.

If it was beyond any doubt that Kino approached him from the get go with a new 4k restoration offer and he then kiboshed the prospect of the best possible release of Lost Highway over his irritation at their premature commission of extras (which by their nature he'd have vetoed anyway), then that would indeed seem petty. Based on what we know at this stage, Kino fucked themselves over as far as he was concerned once he caught wind of what they'd done re extras.

This seems to come down to trust for Lynch and respect for his wishes (and I'd agree that going against the filmmaker's wishes deliberately or inadvertently is still unprofessional behaviour at worst and sloppy at best). Kino lost all his goodwill on both counts. Scorched earth approach by Lynch? Perhaps but then a) it's his fucking film and it bears repeating: he's been there before with TT and the Wild at Heart deleted scenes, and b) we have no corroboration from anyone other than KL themselves that they had even offered to do and pay for a 4k resto. If his team admit that a 4k transfer was on the table and he nixed it over Kino's, ahem, cavalier, approach to extras in this particular instance, then I'll concede he could have said, "okay guys, I don't appreciate how you went about the extras but I'll let it slide so the film gets out there in a new transfer". But right now, we only have Kino's word for it that a 4k transfer was on the table. Their assertion regarding this is neither here nor there for me until Lynch's team confirm that Kino offered and were prepared to pay for it.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#116 Post by Finch » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:29 pm

bfaison wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:01 pm
If Kino had Peter Deming emailing them and they were willing to do “whatever it took” then none of it shakes out on their end (...) A minimal amount of research into Lynch’s home video releases would have helped them dodge that tweet.
Their retort to Peter Deming's comment makes no sense if they were willing to do "whatever it took". If they had already pissed Lynch off by that point, they could have asked Deming to put in a word for them but since he says he didn't hear from them at all at any time, that would imply that they either only wanted to deal with Lynch or his representatives directly (and I know from my own experience that Sabrina Sutherland is very approachable - she also worked on the film) or if they had already annoyed Lynch by that point, they presumably figured there's no point in contacting Deming. If Deming contacted them and they wanted to do a 4k restoration, then why not reply, hey Peter, we want to a whole new scan with your and David's input? Deming says he hasn't heard from them at all.

Not only did they have ample opportunity to research and to speak to the likes of Peter Becker et al about how to work with DL in a smooth and painless manner, Showtime nearly losing Twin Peaks in 2014 should have been a massive red flag in terms of trying to go against Lynch's wishes and principles even inadvertently.

At this rate, I'm not sure this is even going to sell a boatload, short of the completist crowd who can live with what sounds like is going to be a 6.5 to 7 out of 10 transfer as a placeholder.

Maybe in three or five years, MK2 or Mr Becker will come to the rescue. I'm hard pressed to think of a more suitable candidate to launch UHD for Criterion than Lost Highway's first half, and I don't even like the film all that much.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#117 Post by nitin » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:48 pm

captveg wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:53 pm
Finch wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:32 pm
Do we know of any instances where KL actually financed a resto themselves?
I know they have mentioned financing new 4K masters on a few titles (perhaps a dozen or a bit more), but I don't recall the specific titles off the top of my head. I know they financed the new scan of The Big Country to not have the same squeeze issues of the MGM release, but I don't recall what technical specifics of the scan were.
The Big Country release is not a new scan, its geometry was just fixed digitally.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#118 Post by tenia » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:56 am

peerpee wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:12 pm
Any label that licenses a film without technically analysing the master beforehand is only going to have nasty surprises.
I was told that recently (which surprised me) by a French label, who told me it was absolutely mandatory for them to check what they were given, because at times, it's clear the studio themselves don't know what they have or which file it is, and they can send you unwillingly a 25 years old Pan & Scan master instead of their brand new 4K restoration.

In any case, here are some comparative caps (Kino vs MK2, in this order). Some small differences (framing and AR, notably), different grading, most likely the same underlying source (the sharpening in place is visible in the same spots from a disc to the other).
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

EDIT : forgot to mention : these were taken through MPC-HC in *.png. I usually convert them to *.jpg through Photoshop, using the automated script conversion with the minimal level of compression (100% quality) but I forgot this time around and uploaded directly the *.png files.
Last edited by tenia on Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#119 Post by black&huge » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:00 am

....... yikes.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#120 Post by nitin » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:20 am

Did they just dial up the red?

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#121 Post by peerpee » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:25 am

"To our surprise, the master in question was a very good one, so we were happy to release it".

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#122 Post by soundchaser » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:15 am

I dunno, I think that looks pretty good. Certainly not going to be mistaken for a 4K restoration, but the color looks better next to the washed-out mk2 master.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#123 Post by tenia » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:16 am

It isn't bad, but it's dated and it shows. There's especially visible recurring sharpening leading to visible ringing.

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#124 Post by peerpee » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:33 am

The blown out window in the third grab is horrible. But hey, people think "it looks pretty good".

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Re: Kino Lorber Studio Classics: Lost Highway

#125 Post by soundchaser » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:41 am

It's blown out in the mk2 screengrab as well, although not to the same extent. It's not a perfect grade, but I still prefer it based on these captures. It's possible I don't know what to look for, though.

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